Marcus Smart takes subtle shot at Celtics over trade to Grizzlies originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
It’s been four months since the Boston Celtics traded Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies. But the veteran guard still has a few things to get off his chest about the deal.
Smart spent nine seasons in Boston and was the team’s longest-tenured player before the Celtics dealt him to Memphis as part of a blockbuster three-team trade that brought Kristaps Porzingis to Boston. And while Smart said all the right things during his Grizzlies introduction in July, it sounds like he’s still a little salty about how everything went down.
“You always want to be where you’re wanted, and another team’s trash is another team’s gold. So I’m glad to be here,” Smart told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss in a recent interview.
“I’m glad to be on an organization that wants me and sees me (have) great value. So I’m ecstatic and I’m ready to get going.”
Smart’s comments imply that he believes the Celtics didn’t value him highly enough to keep him around for a 10th season. He also has an apparent bone to pick with Boston’s front office over how the team communicated with him prior to the deal.
“If I’m being quite frank, I knew I would be traded eventually,” Smart said. “Just figured it would be the next season, just based off my contract and with the new CBA. We already knew that. But it was just the way it happened.
“I was told everything was good after asking multiple times. Like, ‘I’m hearing (rumors), what’s going on?’ And they’re like, ‘No, you’re good, you’re good, you’re good.’ And then when I do hear about the trade, it’s from Shams (Charania) on Twitter before I hear from the team.”
According to reports, the Celtics originally planned to send Malcolm Brogdon to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the three-team deal for Porzingis. But when that trade fell through — reportedly due to issues with Brogdon’s physical — Brad Stevens quickly pivoted to a deal involving Smart and Memphis.
Smart admitted back in early July that he was asleep when his fiancée woke him up after receiving a call from his agent that he was being traded.
“She woke me up out of a sleep, literally, right after the deal had been made and I think [the media] had already tweeted it out,” Smart said. That’s how we found out.”
Smart also insisted at the time that he understood the business side of the deal and harbored no ill will toward the Celtics’ organization. That still may be true, but it sounds like the 29-year-old is also using the trade as fuel to motivate him entering a new season with a new team.
So, expect Smart and his ex-Celtics teammates to show each other plenty of love when Boston visits Memphis on Nov. 19 — then expect Smart to do everything he can to beat his former club.
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