The Hawks have expressed interest in Celtics guard Marcus Smart, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. Smart, who is one of the NBA’s stronger perimeter defenders, would be a nice fit in Atlanta’s backcourt alongside Trae Young, but Boston’s appetite for trading Smart is unclear.
At 21-21, the Celtics have had a disappointing season, but they’re still a playoff team and Smart plays a key role for the club. Boston likely won’t simply trade him for picks or prospects, so any deal that sends him to Atlanta would likely have to include a player like John Collins or Bogdan Bogdanovic, as Jared Weiss and Sam Amick of The Athletic write.
Speaking of Bogdanovic, in addition to drawing interest from the Celtics, he’s being eyed by a few other teams as well. Charania adds the Warriors to the list of players with interest in Bogdanovic, while Weiss and Amick say the Clippers are also on that list.
Here’s more on the Hawks:
- League sources with knowledge of the Hawks’ Collins trade discussions tell Weiss and Amick that there’s a “significant gulf” in how much Atlanta values the big man and how much teams are willing to give up for him. The fact that the Hawks only offered in the range of $90MM in extension talks last offseason has created the impression they wouldn’t go any higher than that this summer when Collins reaches restricted free agency, which isn’t the case.
- According to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, the Hawks’ initial response to the Celtics‘ inquiries on Collins was to try to build a deal around Jaylen Brown, which was a non-starter for Boston.
- ESPN’s Zach Lowe estimates that the odds of a Collins trade this week are only about 30%, given how highly the Hawks value him and how badly they want to make the postseason. It would be difficult for the club to find a fair deal without taking a step back in the short term.
- Hawks wing De’Andre Hunter may return to action as soon as Monday night, sources tell Charania. Hunter has been sidelined since January 29 after undergoing meniscus surgery.
- Charania confirms that the Hawks are among the teams expected to pursue Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, which was first reported by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer on Sunday.