Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart addresses trade from Celtics, Jaylen Brown relationship

The veteran guard spoke candidly about the "shocking" deal and where he stands with his ex-teammates.

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The Marcus Smart trade came as a late-night surprise to many in the Boston area -- including Marcus Smart himself.

The veteran guard spoke publicly Sunday for the first-time since the Celtics dealt him to the Memphis Grizzlies shortly before midnight on June 21 as part of a three-team trade that sent Washington's Kristaps Porzingis to Boston. Smart admitted he was actually asleep when the trade went down, and that his fiancée woke him up to break the news.

"It was a shock," Smart told reporters at the Dana Barros Basketball Center in Stoughton, Mass, via The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn. "My agent called my fiancée and she woke me up out of a sleep, literally, right after the deal had been made and I think [the media] had already tweeted it out. That’s how we found out."

Smart said Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told him the week prior that he was "safe" from being traded, which made the deal that much more "shocking."

"We was expecting [to stay]," Smart said. "But for me, I understand the business side of it. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m the first one to tell people, you can’t put personal with business, it just doesn’t mix. And if you do, you’re going to get yourself hurt. I understand it’s a business.

"But for me, it was just the courtesy. They probably already knew they were thinking about trading me. They had this trade in their back pocket just in case something else didn’t happen. And for me, it’s just the simple fact, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about trading you, most likely we’ll trade you, just letting you know.'"

Boston originally wasn't planning to trade Smart and intended to send Malcolm Brogdon to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of a three-team trade to land Porzingis. When that trade fell apart, however, Stevens made the bold decision to trade Boston's longest-tenured player and emotional leader.

While the trade may have blindsided Smart, he insisted he had no hard feelings toward the organization or any Celtics players. He also denied any friction with Jaylen Brown, who didn't share a social media tribute to Smart following the trade, leading to speculation that the two weren't on good terms.

"I actually want to clear up something I’ve seen online around because JB didn’t post something about me like (Jayson Tatum) did, that we had beef," Smart said. "Jayson and Jaylen are my brothers for life. I don’t think what people see [is accurate] on what and how our relationship really is. We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve been through fires."

Smart added that Brown flew to Dallas to attend Smart's mother's funeral in 2018 and reached out to him after last week's trade.

"Me and JB, we’re great," Smart said. "That’s my brother. He actually texted me and he was just as disappointed as I was. We’re good. I just wanted to clear that up."

Smart's nine-year Celtics tenure included plenty of ups and downs, but his overall impact in Boston -- both on and off the court -- can't be overstated, and he should receive a very warm welcome from Celtics players and fans when he returns to TD Garden in a visitor's uniform next season.

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