This summer, the Memphis Grizzlies saw numerous shakeups made to their talent pool, with a slew of different players seen coming and going.
Perhaps the biggest move made by Zach Kleiman and company was the blockbuster trade that netted them veteran Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics.
Heralded as a “scary” new contributor within Taylor Jenkins’ rotation, the decision to bring on the defensive stalwart is one that is predicted to have many positive ripple effects resulting from it, ranging from his impact on the court to his mentorship off of it.
This optimistic sentiment is not one that is shared amongst Grizzlies nation, however, as a recent survey revealed that the consensus belief among General Managers across the association is that Smart’s acquisition is the “most underrated” of the summer.
Grizzlies trade for Marcus Smart tabbed as ‘most underrated acquisition’
Leading the charge in the particular category with 17 percent of the votes cast, Smart’s name is found directly ahead of his former Celtics teammate Grant Williams, whose move to the Dallas Mavericks via sign-and-trade back in July collected 14 percent of votes.
Ironically, Dillon Brooks’ sign-and-trade to the Houston Rockets — a decision celebrated as an overall win for the Grizzlies — tied for third place in the pecking order.
A 10-year veteran, Smart comes to Memphis boasting impressive career accolades of three All-Defensive Team selections and a Defensive Player of the Year award, has an extensive six years of deep playoff-run experience, and, since officially becoming entrusted to take on full-time lead guard duties back in 2021-22, boasts averages of 11.8 points, 6.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals.
Not only is his arrival expected to help strengthen the Grizzlies’ production on both ends of the floor in the immediate future — especially on the defensive end with him now paired with reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Jaren Jackson Jr. — but, with three total years left on his current $76 million deal, the hope is that he’ll be contributing out in Grind City for quite a while.