Boston Celtics reportedly exploring deal to send Marcus Smart to Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: Marcus Smart
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: Marcus Smart /

In order to officially sign Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics need to create some cap space. Reports have surfaced that Boston may deal Marcus Smart to the New York Knicks.

Gordon Hayward will become an official member of the Boston Celtics soon, whether it’s a straightforward signing or a sign-and-trade with the Utah Jazz. Either way, he’ll be in Celtics green this season.

In order to free up enough cap space to sign the new star small forward, Boston needs to make a few moves. Those moves have already begun, as they renounced their rights to Kelly Olynyk to make him an unrestricted free agent. The next moves will likely be made via trade. A sign-and-trade between Boston and Utah for Hayward has been discussed, and it could involve sending Jae Crowder to the Jazz. Now, reports have surfaced that the Celtics are shopping Marcus Smart.

Smart could be sent to the New York Knicks, who are certainly aiming to rebuild.

According to Ian Begley from ESPN, it’s unclear how much interest the Knicks have in Smart, but Boston has made that call.

Smart is still just 23, and coming off the bench for Boston last season he averaged 10.6 points, 4.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. His lockdown defensive efforts would surely be missed in Boston, but it’s a move that needs to be made in order to sign Hayward.

The move makes sense for the New York Knicks, as Smart could step into a starting role immediately. Boston could also receive a player in the deal, while still creating more cap space. The Knicks could potentially send Willie Hernangomez to the Celtics. While Marcus Smart is set to make $4.5 million this season before becoming a restricted free agent, Hernangomez is owed just $4.7 million over the next three seasons.

Boston would certainly love to add center Hernangomez, as they need more help in rim protection and on the glass. He was just named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team after averaging 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game over just 18.4 minutes played.

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Acquiring Hernangomez would allow Al Horford to move to the power forward spot. While Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley are also reportedly being shopped around, the Celtics could maybe afford to hold on to Bradley for another year before he leaves in free agency. If both are traded, the starting shooting guard position becomes a question, though Boston could insert SF Jaylen Brown there. This could be a possible starting five for the Celtics:

  • PG Isaiah Thomas
  • SG Jaylen Brown
  • SF Gordon Hayward
  • PF Al Horford
  • C Willie Hernangomez

The Celtics, of course, may not want to send Smart to a division rival, so they have contacted other teams. Even so, this trade seems perfect from both sides. Would you like to see a Smart for Hernangomez deal get done with New York? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @CandCFansided!

Boston is also reportedly pursuing Memphis center Marc Gasol, so keep that one in the back of your mind as well.

Next: Boston and Utah discussing sign-and-trade for Hayward

Would you like to see a Smart for Hernangomez deal get done with New York? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @CandCFansided!