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Report: Celtics won’t trade Marcus Smart if it hurts their playoff chances this year

Steve Bulpett cools down the Marcus Smart trade rumors two days before the trade deadline.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported Tuesday night in a story that the Boston Celtics have no plans of trading Marcus Smart before Thursday’s deadline unless they get someone in return that can help the team more this year and in the future.

Smart was reportedly available for a first round pick less than a week ago with growing uncertainty around the amount of money he could earn as a restricted free agent. Boston was also reported to be after Tyreke Evans and Lou Williams in a trade to add scoring to their bench unit, and the Grizzlies’ and Clippers’ asking price was a first round pick.

Bulpett poured some ice water on the Smart rumors by saying that teams indicated things could always change at the deadline, but those who contacted the Celtics after the initial reports were met with a, “fairly cool reception.”

“From what we can gather, the Celts are indeed discomforted by the uncertainty with signing Smart beyond this year, but they see him as a key piece to this season’s playoff run. Sources indicate that Danny Ainge will likely only move Smart if he can get back someone who will help the club more in the present -- or if trading Smart brings back an asset Ainge can then move for such a player.”

Bulpett included that the player they would acquire in a Smart trade would not be a rental, but someone who would provide value after this season as well.

He also confirmed that the Celtics definitely have interest in Evans and Williams, but if Smart were involved in a deal that would bring one of those players to Boston, the Celtics would want more in return.

In a week that caused a lot of uncertainty on Smart’s future with the Celtics, Bulpett added this quote from a rival executive:

“Boston could definitely use some scoring, but the kind of things that guy does for you defensively become even more important in the playoffs. And we still don’t know if Hayward is going to be back for them this year, so that could be your scoring help right there. They keep saying he’s not coming back this year, and that’s the right way to play it. But they don’t know. And if you trade away a guy like Marcus now, you could spend the next few years looking for someone like him.”

The trade deadline is on Thursday at 3 p.m. EST, and there will surely be more stories and rumors that will change the way we think the Celtics will act. In reality, we have no idea and we’re just waiting to see what happens.

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