The Boston Celtics need to clear space after landing Gordon Hayward in free agency and the New York Knicks need point guards.
Sometimes it writes itself.
The Celtics are famous for a backcourt-heavy roster, so it’s only natural the team would reach out to the Knicks about a trade. According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Celtics mentioned Marcus Smart when calling the Knicks recently:
The Knicks, among other teams, were also contacted by the Boston Celtics about a potential Marcus Smart trade earlier this week, sources said. The Knicks’ interest in Smart is unclear at this point, but you can assume the Celtics would want someone like Willy Hernangomez and/or a pick back in a trade. If so, that would be a steep price for a rebuilding team such as the Knicks to pay.
The Knicks also have veterans like Rajon Rondo in mind for a mentor role next to rookie Frank Ntilikina and the team had talks with guys like George Hill.
Smart, though, might be a better fit than most named simply because he’s all of 23 years old and still on a decent deal. He averaged only 30.4 minutes per game last year, but turned it into 10.6 points and 4.6 assists.
While far from a scorer, there’s nothing wrong with filling a need via a younger player who could still grow toward his ceiling. Adding Smart would require sacrificing assets and moving away from the veteran mentor role, but also might mean more quality in a long-term outlook.
If the price is right, Smart might just be the next starting point for the Knicks.