Report: Mavericks are 'linked' to Marcus Smart in trade discussions

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The stumbling Celtics are expected to be involved in a myriad of rumors before the NBA trade deadline. Marcus Smart’s name is already being tied to another team.

The Mavericks have been “linked to” Smart in recent weeks, according to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus. The anecdote is buried in a longer story about general NBA trade possibilities, with Pincus writing the Mavericks have also been “linked to” Hawks forward John Collins. Dallas is 27-20 and in control of the No. 5 seed in the West.

Like most reports, the wording is important here. The phrase “linked to” is vague, and doesn’t mean much without an accompanying story.

But it’s apparent the Celtics, who are sitting at 24-24, could sell off some players at the deadline. Veterans Dennis Schroder and Al Horford are often mentioned as potential trade pieces.

But dealing Smart would be a much bigger deal, considering he signed a four-year, $77.1 million extension last August. The contract begins in 2022-23.

Smart is averaging 11.6 points per game this season along with 5.3 assists and 4 rebounds. Earlier this season, the feisty guard called on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to pass the ball more.

Smart’s challenge hasn’t improved the team’s play.