Atlantic Notes: Smart, Sixers, Ainge

The Celtics have been a mainstay in speculative trade discussions all season but one player whose value is constantly underestimated on a national scale is Marcus Smart. According to Chris Forsberg of ESPN, Smart’s flaws on the offensive end tend to be what people focus on, rather than all of the intangible impacts he has on the game.

Forsberg cites multiple hustle stats as indicators of Smart’s ability to influence the outcome on the game without consistently standing out on traditional box scores. He’s improved as a reserve point guard for the Celtics and is a jack of all trades on the defensive side of the ball. Recently, Forsberg claims, the 6’4″ guard even took turns matching up against the 7’2″ Kristaps Porzingis.

Properly gauging the value of players like Smart is one of the toughest things for general managers to do, especially as teams come calling ahead of the February 23 trade deadline. Currently second in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics will be pressured to make a dramatic move to position themselves better for an arguably inevitable showdown with the Cavaliers, but just as important will be that they don’t underestimate their current assets and set themselves backward.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Nearly every player on the Sixers has at least some trade value, says Bobby Marks of The Vertical. The analyst reviewed the rebuilding franchise in his recurring series leading up to the trade deadline. Still, Marks writes, even though the team has performed better than most expected, the front office would be wise to let their assets develop organically and not rush out to make a trade in haste.
  • The Celtics are interested in making a deadline ahead of the trade deadline but nothing is imminent. “This time of year, nobody really has given their real price or what they will give you for the assets we have,” general manager Danny Ainge tells A. Sherrod Blakeley of CSN New England. “So we will wait and see.
  • Following a Friday night loss in which they gave up 131 points to Denver, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek was critical of his starting lineup. “Look at the difference between the first group and the second. They play with effort,” Hornacek told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “They get after guys. A guy who got the ball, they get up on him. They help each other out. First group didn’t do that.”
  • After yet another dramatic week in New York, Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post suggests that Knicks fans revolt. The scribe cites baseball fans who vowed to stay away from the game after the 1994 lockout as inspiration but notes that following through on such ultimatums are often difficult.
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23 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Smart, Sixers, Ainge

  1. jacobsigel1025

    I think it might be smart to throw an offer at New Orleans for Anthony Davis if I were the Celtics because the Pelicans aren’t getting anywhere anytime soon. If the Pelicans were given the ability to draft Fultz, get 2 more additional first rounders, and maybe squeeze out Smart and Brown, why not do it?

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    • The Celtics would definitely have to give up both Smart and Brown. It’d probably take the Nets picks this year and next, Smart, Brown, and one of the Celtics draft and stash players (or future first round pick[s]).

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    • Connorsoxfan

      I’m down for any star player trade that doesn’t involve Bradley or Crowder.

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    • KCelts

      It’d be a dream come true but honestly I can’t see it… at least not yet

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  2. HughJass

    I don’t think NO will trade Davis. It’s hard to imagine someone as young and talented as AD being moved by a team. That being said, it’s fun to talk about it. If there is a team that could make an enticing offer, it’s the Celtics. A package that starts with both Brooklyn picks (17 & 18), and could include any number of current NBA players (Bradley, Smart, Brown for example), or a pair of stashed prospects (Yabu & Zizic), has to make you listen at the very least.

    Again, I don’t think a talent like Davis gets traded, but Nets ’17, Nets ’18, Brown, and the rights to Yabu & Zizic, among other possible sweeteners is a solid haul for a rebuild. NO has very little around Davis right now, and 2 of their better complimentary players (Jrue & Tyreke) are FA’s at seasons end. They should consider it if AD isn’t intent on sticking around for the long haul.

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    • I would make a trade with the kings for cousins for smart, crowder and a couple first rouders. That trade would solve our rebounding issues and have a very good offensive player too.

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      • Those first rounders would have to be at least one of the Brooklyn picks. Plus, trading Crowder creates a temporary hole at the SF position since you probably don’t want to rely on Brown for big minutes down the stretch (as in you probably want a veteran to help out down the stretch) and Jerebko isn’t scaring anyone either. Also, trading for Cousins might hurt Horford as they both basically play in the same space.

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        • true, but cousins is a beast and he would make a great addition to the C’s.

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          • planetsabc

            Not in place of horford. I’d rather have Davis, as said above

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        • KCelts

          Horford would LOVE a guy like Cousins since he’s been playing more of the 4. I’m an Amir Johnson fan… but swap him out with Cousins in the lineup and wow. Horford can still play his 4, where he has played at this season with Johnson and even KO on the floor. Then, Brad puts Boogie at the 5.

          Your biggest problem is if Ainge actually pursues that is what to move. Sacramento hasn’t dealt Cousins yet so I honestly doubt it ever happens, but if they do, they would want a kings ransom. What could Boston move without putting a void in the team?

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      • KCelts

        If you’re trading Crowder, you have to get a good wing player back. Jaylen Brown isn’t quite ready yet. Plus Crowder has low key been rather excellent this year.

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    • I would make a trade with the kings for cousins for smart, crowder and a couple first rouders. That trade would solve our rebounding issues and have a very good offensive and defensive player too.

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  3. jkbuckets

    The celtics need to make a trade. They already have so many young guys that aren’t getting enough playing time. Brown would be starting on any non playoff team Demetrius Jackson is getting very few minutes. James young same. I’m sure there’s more. They had to cut a first round pick from 2015 (rj hunter) bc they simply had no room. They need to trade there draft picks for a star so those guys can develop properly. That said I would not trade for cousins. He would ruin there chemistry. Trade for jimmy butler Paul George Hassan whiteside or cj McCollum Maybe even Blake griffin if the clipper want to blow up their team

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    • GuruGray

      I’m picturing an IT/McCollum backcourt on defense. It’s hilarious

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    • KCelts

      Honestly, if he’s healthy, Bogut would literally be the perfect fit for the Celtics. The biggest woe is rebounding and he can provide that. I don’t care that he doesn’t score; they have IT, Crowder, Horford, and AB for that. Bogut can rebound and can defend and that is the biggest area to improve right now for the Celtics.

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  4. old_cheapy_fred

    Absent a contract situation, NBA teams don’t trade star players in their 20s for any quantity of good to very good players and/or draft picks. Only the Nets 2017 pick figures to be top 5 in any case. McCollum might be doable, but the rest are pipedreams.

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    • jacobsigel1025

      What about when the Nuggets traded Carmelo to the Knicks

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      • Contract situation. Everyone knew Carmelo wasn’t going to resign with Denver so they traded him to get the most value out of him.

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        • old_cheapy_fred

          Yes, Carmelo said as much, including to Denver’s owner and GM and publicly. He also told them there were only 2 teams he would sign an extension with (Knicks, maybe the Bulls).

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        • old_cheapy_fred

          Ibaka isn’t a superstar, but he is a very high end player available at a discount due to Orlando essentially being told he won’t re-up with them. That’s the type of player that Boston should focus on, not day dreaming that the Pelicans are going to trade the face of their franchise and one of the top 5-10 assets in the league at 25.

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