Former Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart remains irked with the team over its lack of transparency prior to being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
“If I’m being quite frank, I knew I would be traded eventually,” Smart said, according to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. “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.”
Smart signed a four-year, $76.49-million contract extension with the Celtics in August 2021. Yet, rumors of the starting point guard possibly being dealt continued to circulate throughout his tenure.
Memphis acquired the 29-year-old in a massive three-way trade with the Washington Wizards and Celtics that also included Kristaps Porzingis and Danilo Gallinari this past June.
Star Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant is set to serve a 25-game suspension to start the campaign and will be eligible to make his season debut on Dec. 19. Smart is expected to play a central role to start the season alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane. It’s a responsibility the veteran guard is embracing with his new club.
“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 said. “I’m glad to be on an organization that wants me and sees me (have) great value.”
The Grizzlies have made the playoffs in each of the past three seasons but have been unable to translate their regular-season success into a sustained playoff run.
Meanwhile, Smart brings along plenty of postseason experience, having been a part of a Celtics roster that made multiple Eastern Conference finals appearances and a trip to the NBA Finals during the 2021-22 season.
The Grizzlies will tip off their 2023 campaign against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.