Nobody is untouchable, but the Boston Celtics are making it clear that it will cost a heavy price tag to pry Marcus Smart away.
Source says Celtics have indicated that to part with Marcus Smart they "would have to be blown away" by an opportunity.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 25, 2015
What would Danny Ainge consider to be a deal that would blow him away? We know that the Celtics want to move up in the draft, so the recently reported rumor of a deal that would have sent a package highlighted by Smart to the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 pick and Nerlens Noel gives us an idea of what would do the trick. The offer was quickly declined by the Sixers, but you can't blame Ainge for shooting for the moon.
There was talk this morning of the Celtics preparing to make a "Godfather offer" for the No. 3 pick with an eye on drafting Duke center Jahlil Okafor. Perhaps they will revisit those talks with Philadelphia with a new offer that may not necessarily include Noel, which would lower Philly's asking price.
The DeMarcus Cousins rumors won't go away and the Celtics clearly have interest in him. The Sacramento Kings reportedly are interested in a package of players as opposed to a bundle of draft picks if they are to even consider trading their star big man. If the Celtics want to outbid a team like the Los Angeles Lakers, who can offer the No. 2 pick in the draft, including Smart in the deal seems like a necessity.
If Smart becomes trade bait, it would only be to acquire an established star or to move near the top of the draft where they could select a future star. This may seem like they are putting a high price on Smart, but the fact is that they should be. Smart was selected 6th overall in last years draft and his rookie season provided little reason to believe he wasn't worthy of that high selection.
Last year's draft was considered one of the best crops of prospects in recent memory due to a stable of high-upside players that included Smart. If Boston were to consider dealing him for a draft pick, it better be a pick higher than where they selected Smart last year.
It does not appear that Smart is really on the trading block and the Celtics have high hopes that he will remain a key fixture on this roster. But if the right offer comes along, we know Trader Danny won't hesitate to make a deal.
Whispers getting louder that the Celtics are willing to surrender prized guard Marcus Smart if it gets them in upper reaches of lottery— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 25, 2015