Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 29: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics reacts during the second quarter against the Miami Heat in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 29, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Celtics fans were shocked on Wednesday night (or Thursday morning, for those who went to bed early on Wednesday) to see the team had traded point guard Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies. As it turns out, the fans weren’t alone.

Smart himself has yet to speak about the trade publicly. Yet on Thursday, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe was able to pass along Smart’s reaction from those close to him.

  • “‘A gut punch,’ said one source close to the point guard. ‘Complete shock.'” Himmelsbach writes. The article continues quoting other sources that “Marcus loves Boston,” and “He thought he was going to retire there. He wanted to retire there.”

    “Smart joined a brief call with his closest confidants late Wednesday night, sources said, and expressed hurt that out of all the guards on the roster, the Celtics decided to part ways with him,” Himmelsbach added. “He had come so far with the franchise and was determined to hang its first championship banner since 2008. He believed they were so close.”

    At the time of the trade, Smart was the longest-tenured player on the Celtics (a distinction now held by Jaylen Brown) and one of the longest-tenured pro athletes in Boston. He was drafted sixth overall by the team in 2014, and they made the playoffs all nine seasons he was in Boston.

  • 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

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