Despite the “massive upgrade” to Jrue Holiday, losing Marcus Smart hurt Boston Celtics fans according to Chowder and Champions’ Devon Platana; also per the personal experience of most Cs fans reading this right now.
“While Holiday is a massive upgrade over Smart, it doesn’t make the latter’s departure — especially with how it happened — hurt any less,” Platana said regarding Brad Stevens’ apparent lack of a heads-up to Smart that he had been traded. “Hopefully, it’s only a one-off mistake by Stevens. Transparency and loyalty from the front office are crucial to attracting and keeping players around.”
Smart had lamented to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss (subscription required) that he was assured he wouldn’t be traded before being sent away in the deal that brought back Kristaps Porzingis and two first-round draft picks — which helped facilitate the Holiday trade.
“Like, ‘I’m hearing (rumors), what’s going on?’ And [the Celtics are] like, ‘No, you’re good, you’re good, you’re good’ — and then when I do hear about the trade, it’s from Shams (Charania) on Twitter before I hear from the team,’” Smart told Weiss.
True Boston Celtics upgrade is from Marcus Smart’s shot selection to Kristaps Porzingis’
In truth, it was Porzingis who took over Smart’s role in the offense as opposed to Holiday during the Celtics’ season opener against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on October 25. Smart took six free throws per game in 2022-23, while Porzingis took 10 free throws in his Cs debut. Holiday didn’t get to the free-throw line once. Porzingis was the one taking catch-and-shoot threes late against the Knicks in the fourth quarter just as Smart used to. Not Holiday.
Porzingis’ impact on the game is the one that replaced Smart’s. And at the rate he’s going, the marquee offseason addition could wind up being one of the all-time great trade steals.