Photo: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports
According to NY Times reporter Marc Stein, the Denver Nuggets are among the teams that have explored the idea of acquiring Celtics guard Marcus Smart.
Denver is among the teams that has explored Marcus Smart trade scenarios with Boston, according to league sources. Emmanuel Mudiay has been made available, sources say, but the Celts covet a first-round pick for Smart
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 5, 2018
It comes as no surprise that the Nuggets are exploring all their options of upgrading at the point guard position ahead of Thursdays trade deadline. Smart would immediately give the Nuggets an upgrade at back up point guard and could potentially slot into the starting line-up and move Will Barton back into his sixth man role. The report also talks about how the Nuggets are making point guard Emmanuel Mudiay available. Mudiay’s name has popped up numerous times in trade reports the last couple or weeks and his time with the Nuggets may be coming to a close.
Smart is in the mist of his fourth season in the NBA out of Oklahoma State and has played in 46 games for the Celtics so far this season. Smart is currently averaging 10.1 points per game and 4.7 assists per game.
— Jr. NBA (@jrnba) January 24, 2018
You can see that Smart possesses a little swagger in his game and that could be another big thing he would bring this Nuggets team. The addition that Smart would give the Nuggets offensively might not even be as big as what he would give the team defensively.
— Matt Chin (@MattChinNBA) January 24, 2018
Smart’s a high energy player and is averaging 1.3 steals per game and 0.5 blocks per game. Smart has the ability to get under the opposing players skin on the defensive end of the floor and that could be a nice welcome addition to a Nuggets team who is still looking to improve defensively.
The reports are that the Celtics are seeking a first round pick in return for Smart’s services. That price may be a little steep for the Nuggets in that Smart is going to be a restricted free-agent at the end of the season. That restricted free-agency would give the Nuggets a chance to match any offer made to him, but they also have to think long-term as the team needs to lock up Nikola Jokic long-term in a couple years as well.
If the Nuggets are able to acquire Smart for the right price, the Nuggets should definitely be interested as Smart is a guy who could fill a void the moment he walks in the building. Stay tuned to Dig In Denver as we’ll keep you updated on all the Nuggets rumors ahead of Thursdays trade deadline.