clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Who should the Celtics trade: Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, or Isaiah Thomas?

Choose a guard, any guard.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Which one of the Celtics guards should they trade (if any)?

Jeff Clark: I'm a really, really, really big fan of Avery Bradley and in a perfect world I'd love to keep him. On the other hand, we have a lot of guards and we have needs down low that might not all be solved by Ante Zizic. So if we can swap one of our guards for a big, that might be the best way to achieve roster balance.

From a financial perspective, if we make no changes we'll eventually have to pay big bucks to Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley and if we manage to add another big contract guy (Hayward, George, Butler) in addition to Al Horford's max deal, we might run into some unreasonably high tax dollars. Trading Bradley now might be the best value proposition and he would likely bring back more than Marcus Smart or Terry Rozier.

At some point one of these guys that we like a lot is going to need to be traded. It seems like Bradley might be the odd man out.

Keith Smith: I wouldn't trade any of the top guys (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart), unless it is part of a package to get a star player back. There are lots of suggestions about trading Bradley or Smart for draft picks, but you can only kick the can down the road so far. The Celtics are good now and are trying to improve upon that. Moving Bradley or Smart for a draft pick doesn't improve the roster right now. And the team has good young talent already.

Now, if you can move a guard in a package for a star, you have to consider it. The roster is already getting a little crowded at the guard spot and some sort of consolidation deal seems in order. If the idea is to avoid messy situations with Thomas, Bradley and Smart all being due for new contracts in 2018, then you have to consider moving one or to them.

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

If that isn't a concern, Terry Rozier or even Demetrius Jackson need to be at the top of the list. There simply isn't room for all five, plus Markelle Fultz. With none of them being overly realistic options to play up a position, minus Smart on occassion, six players is too many for two spots.

The most likely course of action is that the situation remedies itself through a cap space clearing trade to chase a free agent, or in a consolidation trade for a star player.

Sean Penney: Avery Bradley. He presumably would bring more value in a trade than Smart would and it's hard to imagine them keeping both long term. If the Celtics draft Fultz then at some point he's going to need significant minutes and may even supplant Bradley in the starting lineup anyway. Bradley is an elite defender who has made strides on the offensive end in recent seasons. However, I don't view him as the type of player who can be the second or third best guy on a championship team but someone is going to be willing to pay him as if he is. Better to deal him now to get value in return rather than get into a bidding war later over a non-max caliber player.

Alex Kungu: It has to be Avery Bradley. Thomas means too much for the team and Smart is going to be on a much more friendly deal and has room to become better. As a fan its even hard for me to watch the way Bradley took it to Jimmy Butler and John Wall and not want to have him on the team forever, but we can't keep ignoring the fact that his reputation has failed to catch up to his numbers for three years. Bradley isn't going to suddenly stop taking long two's, he won't suddenly become a more efficient passer, and he'll never be able to run the offense and be the one. Bradley is a good player and most coaches would want him. But at his projected contract (possibly north of 20mil/year), and his limitations, he's the most viable option to be traded.

Bill Sy: Many have mentioned it, but let’s be clear: any trade that includes Thomas, Smart, or Bradley has to bring back star. If it’s this summer, we’re most likely talking about either Paul George or Jimmy Butler and if that’s the case, it may not a matter who the Celtics are willing to trade, but who the Pacers or Bulls want.

Trading away a star would signal a rebuild for Indiana and Chicago and I don’t think that either would be interested in Isaiah Thomas. He’ll be 29 next season with a $30M/year max contract due him next summer. Avery Bradley, on the other hand, is two years younger and still trending up. The quiet vet is a culture setter, but he’s not exactly the type of player you build around.

That leaves Smart. He is not the offensive weapon that Thomas is or have the level approach of Bradley, but Smart is a brash personality that a franchise might gamble on when it comes to putting together a young team. As Boston’s 6th man, Stevens has relied on Smart to bring a little bit of everything off the bench and a team could see those intangibles projecting into starter minutes and a positive influence in a locker room.

Poll

If you had to pick one guard to trade, who would it be?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Avery Bradley
    (1771 votes)
  • 15%
    Marcus Smart
    (716 votes)
  • 18%
    Terry Rozier
    (884 votes)
  • 23%
    Isaiah Thomas
    (1116 votes)
  • 4%
    None of the above
    (233 votes)
4720 votes total Vote Now

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Celtics Blog Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Boston Celtics news from Celtics Blog