When the news broke that Marcus Smart was going to be traded away from the Boston Celtics in a deal that would ultimately land them Kristaps Porzingis, the basketball world was stunned. Not only had the balance of power suddenly shifted in the Eastern Conference, but the Celtics were sending one of the faces of the franchise to a different city; Smart’s days as the vocal leader of the team were officially over.
Since entering the NBA nine years ago, Smart was one of the primary reasons the Celtics never missed the playoffs during his tenure. However, the Celtics were never able to obtain their desired championship glory; they lost in the Eastern Conference Finals four times and the NBA Finals once during that time span. After a disappointing Game 7 defeat on their home floor to the Miami Heat this postseason, Boston’s management knew it was time for a change.
Marcus Smart is a savvy veteran who competes hard on both ends of the floor. His presence will add veteran leadership to an already talented Grizzlies team.
Although Smart does not possess a championship ring, he does bring a wealth of experience to a young Memphis Grizzlies team that could use some veteran leadership. The Grizzlies are a team that is loaded with talent and entered the 2023 season with championship aspirations of their own, Unfortunately, their season ended in disappointment as they suffered a first-round defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
In executing the trade to make Smart a part of the team, Memphis’ management was undoubtedly hoping that his veteran presence could help the young ballclub get over the hump and emerge from the Western Conference to make their first Finals appearance next season. Let’s take a closer look at the ways Marcus Smart will be an asset to the Memphis Grizzlies next season.