Marcus Smart Linked As Potential Trade Target For Hawks

Marcus Smart, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA as the trade deadline approaches after beginning the 2021-22 season on a rough note. Entering Monday’s slate of action, they had won seven consecutive games and already taken over the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

As the NBA trade deadline approaches, it still appears as though the Hawks could benefit from adding another key contributor. The team already moved on from Cam Reddish in a deal with the New York Knicks but did not add an impact player in return. Adding another on-ball defender, in particular, could go a long way.

When identifying the top three trade deadline targets for each team around the NBA, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz labeled Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart as a ‘realistic’ target. Smart is averaging 33.6 minutes, 11.3 points (39.8% FG, 30.3% 3P), 4.0 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in 42 appearances this season.

“Smart can be traded after Jan. 25 after signing a four-year, $77 million extension back in August, and he remains one of the better backcourt stoppers in the NBA. He’s also a good enough distributor to allow Young to play off the ball more and get the young superstar some catch-and-shoot opportunities,” Swartz wrote.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Hawks-Celtics Trade Sends Jaylen Brown To Atlanta

Executing on defense has been a struggle for the Hawks throughout this season. Atlanta has posted just a 113.0 defensive rating (27th) overall but during their seven-game winning streak, they’ve improved to a 108.0 defensive rating (6th). With an elite offense, the path to growth is clear; improve on defense.

There wouldn’t be much help from Marcus Smart on the offensive end. He is a poor shot creator but is at least serviceable when left open on catch-and-shoot attempts, so at least the defense has to respect him to that extent. Where he clearly brings a boost is in his tenacious on-ball defensive presence.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Hawks-Celtics Trade Sends Jaylen Brown To Atlanta

While Smart stands at 6-foot-3, he is a stocky guard with a 6-foot-9 wingspan that can guard multiple positions out on the perimeter. Having him to check the opposing team’s top guard while De’Andre Hunter handles the top wing threat—greatly ratcheting up the pressure on the opposition.

The Atlanta Hawks have plenty of options when it comes to making a move at the NBA trade deadline. Whether it’s a trade with the Boston Celtics for Marcus Smart, or a different move altogether, there’s a clear benefit from getting something done.

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