Hardly a week stands between Danny Ainge and yet another underwhelming showing at a trade deadline. But if recent reports are to carry any weight — those persistent in linking the Boston Celtics to various Southeast Division stalwarts — prepare yourselves for some fireworks. It’s no guarantee, but potential deals might make the difference between a lost season and one in the process of being found.
The Hawks have expressed interest in Celtics guard Marcus Smart, sources said. Smart has played in six games since returning from a calf strain, and Celtics players understood his loss in the lineup during the month-and-a-half he sat out.
Atlanta is surging, having won its last eight games, and a backcourt pairing of Smart and Trae Young, while unconventional, feels like an alarming sight for foes on either end. Young can score in bunches; Smart flings himself into harm’s way more than an Olympic high diver.
Charania's slew of Celtics-related reports come just one day after The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that Boston’s continued interest in John Collins might also involve Bogdan Bogdanovic.
...the Celtics had some trade discussions about [Bogdanovic] while he was in Sacramento. If the Hawks were to acquire [Lonzo] Ball, maybe moving Bogdanovic would make some sense. Both Collins, 23, and Bogdanovic, 28, fit the timeline of All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are 23 and 24, yet are good enough to compete now.
The Celtics have flexibility when it comes to adding (and eventually extending) Collins; he’ll be expensive, but they can match whatever offer other suitors may put forth for the swingman. But in terms of what it might cost to get them, perhaps that’s why Smart’s name has popped up.
Connect the dots, and the reports, and you can ascertain that at the very least, there have been some conversations about a trade framework with Atlanta. Smart would have to be involved for a Collins-Bogdanovic haul to make any sense for the Hawks. Throw in some picks and another young player — Aaron Nesmith, Romeo Langford, or Robert Williams (wince) — and you may have a reasonable deal.
It’s a waiting game now. Danny Ainge tends to have no problem playing those.