Grizzlies: Marcus Smart tabbed as 'dream' trade target for East contender

Denver Nuggets v Memphis Grizzlies
Denver Nuggets v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Recently, analyst Joe Mullinax made a rather bold and polarizing statement claiming that Marcus Smart could very well be the "most likely" player to be traded from the Memphis Grizzlies this offseason, citing "roster fit [and] value in trade" as the main reasons for such a belief.

Though there has been no real indication from the franchise that such an idea is even being considered, since these remarks were made there has been chatter among fans and media pundits regarding what a potential move involving the 30-year-old would look like and what teams, in particular, could be interested in attaining his services.

Bleacher Report's Greg Swartz went about and addressed this latter talking point in one of his latest pieces with the publication, going as far as to deem Smart as a "dream" offseason trade target for the title-hungry Milwaukee Bucks.

Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart labeled 'dream' target for Bucks

Citing their defensive struggles out on the perimeter since opting to trade away Jrue Holiday last offseason, coupled with their championship aspirations with a core centered around Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard leading the way, Swartz suggests that the concept of dealing for the defensive savant could prove to have serious upside potential for the franchise.

"The Bucks finished just 19th defensively last season. Putting Smart in the starting backcourt next to Damian Lillard gives Milwaukee a stopper on defense who brings 108 games of playoff experience from his time with the Boston Celtics."

Greg Swartz

This past season, Smart was limited to just 20 games due to injuries and, even when on the floor, it seemed his fit with the Grizzlies was rather questionable considering his lackluster shooting efficiency (shot 43.0 percent from the floor and 31.3 percent from deep) and inability to serve as a tried and true point guard -- something the team could seriously use backing up Ja Morant.

Nevertheless, this is not to say his services couldn't be of use elsewhere, and, to Buckley, the Bucks provide a suitable setting for his skill set.

Even with his underwhelming debut campaign out in Grind City, the veteran still went on to post solid counting stats of 14.5 points, 4.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game all while registering his tenth-straight positive defensive box plus-minus rating along the way.

There's an argument to be made that Smart's on-court struggles and inefficiencies were heavily influenced by the fact that he could never seem to build chemistry and a rapport with his new teammates, as the lineup was consistently being altered due to widespread injuries and suspensions.

With this in mind, there's still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the impact that the guard can have on this Grizzlies squad when fully intact, which, in turn, could buy him at least one more year donning the navy, blue, and gold threads.

However, should Zach Kleiman and company feel they may have made a mistake on attaining Smart in the first place, there's no question that they could exchange him out for a lucrative haul on the trade market, and, to Swartz, the Bucks could be a club worth communicating with in such a situation.