Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart's memorable Celtics career ends after nine seasons with trade to Grizzlies

Smart was the heart and soul of the C's.

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The Boston Celtics roster has undergone significant turnover over the last nine years, but the one constant during that span was Marcus Smart.

He was selected by the Celtics with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and quickly became a fan favorite with his heart, tenacity, defense and work ethic, among other attributes.

Smart's run in Boston has reportedly come to an end.

The veteran point guard has been dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a three-team trade involving the Celtics and Washington Wizards that was being finalized late Wednesday night. The C's are acquiring Kristaps Porzingis and two first-round picks as part of the trade.

Smart was, in many ways, the heart and soul of the Celtics during his tenure in Boston.

He loved being a Celtic and embraced what it means to play for the franchise. Smart also was a great leader, especially on defense. He blossomed into one of the league's top perimeter defenders, and last season he became the first guard since Gary Payton in 1995-96 to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The Celtics made the playoffs in each of Smart's nine seasons with the team, including five trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and one appearance in the NBA Finals.

Over the last 30 years, only Paul Pierce (1,102) has played in more games for the Celtics than Smart's 582. Smart also ranks pretty high on several all-time statistical lists for the C's.

Trading Smart leaves the Celtics with Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon and Payton Pritchard as the point guards on their roster entering Thursday night's 2023 NBA Draft.

Smart should be a great fit in Memphis. The Grizzlies need his leadership, defensive excellence and experience, especially with superstar point guard Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games of the 2023-24 season.

The Smart era in Boston ultimately ended without a championship, but that won't prevent Celtics fans from remembering his time with the team in a positive light. He will always be a beloved Celtic.

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