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In a recent conversation with NBA reporter Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Marcus Smart discussed his trade from the Boston Celtics to the Memphis Grizzlies during the offseason. While Smart had anticipated being traded by the Celtics at some point, he didn’t expect it to happen so soon.
“To be completely candid, I always had a sense that I’d be traded eventually,” Smart explained. “I just assumed it would be in the next season, considering my contract and the new CBA. We were already aware of that. However, it was the manner in which it unfolded that caught me off guard. I had asked multiple times, ‘I’m hearing rumors, what’s going on?’ They assured me, ‘You’re good, you’re good, you’re good.’ But then, I found out about the trade via Shams (Charania) on Twitter before hearing from the team.”
Smart was initially drafted by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, coming out of Oklahoma State. During his time with Boston, the 29-year-old played 581 games, averaging 10.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. He also secured the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2021-22 season.
In the previous season, Smart averaged 11.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists for the Celtics. As an All-NBA defender, along with former MVP Derrick Rose, Smart will be crucial in maintaining competitiveness for the Grizzlies in the Western Conference while Ja Morant serves a 25-game suspension to start the 2023-24 season.
Contrary to common perception, Smart clarified, “Many people think I’m here to assist Ja with off-the-court matters and babysit him. That’s far from the truth. Ja is a human being, just like everyone else. He made a mistake, and he’s facing the consequences for it, taking the necessary steps to rectify those mistakes and return with a clean slate. That’s all we can hope for.”
The Grizzlies will kick off their season against the New Orleans Pelicans, with Smart expected to start either at point guard or shooting guard.”