Boston Celtics

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his name being attached to seemingly every trade rumor, Marcus Smart remains with the Celtics after the NBA trade deadline. Apparently, even his involvement in rumored trades was overblown.

Appearing on Toucher & Rich on Friday morning, Ainge was asked about those rumors. “I don’t want to trade Marcus Smart,” he said. “That stuff is all made up.”

The trade rumors surrounding Smart came after a report from The Athletic that players on the team were potentially tiring of the 27 year old. During Wednesday’s game against the Bucks, NBC Sports Boston shared a clip of what they called “a heated exchange” between Smart and Daniel Theis on the Celtics’ bench.

Asked about Smart’s standing with the team on Friday, and if his “bravado” is “wearing thin” with his teammates, Ainge was strong in his defense. “Marcus plays as hard as anybody,” Ainge said. “He competes at a level that – he’s won playoff series for us with his – I wouldn’t call it bravado, just with his intensity and his competitive spirit.”

“Marcus brings something to the table for this team, as we all know, that others don’t have,” Ainge continued.

Smart started the season off strong, but has struggled since returning from a quad injury that held him out for a month. In eight games since returning to the lineup, he’s scoring 12 points per game while shooting just 38 percent from the field. His struggles have been particularly pronounced in the fourth quarter, when he’s shooting just 28.3 percent from deep and had missed 21 straight threes before finally making one Wednesday night.

You can listen to the full Toucher & Rich conversation with Danny Ainge below, covering all the news from the NBA trade deadline.

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Celtics.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at