2 reasons why Grizzlies should trade Marcus Smart, 2 why they shouldn't

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Argument to trade Marcus Smart No. 1) Capitalizing on value

When the blockbuster trade initially occurred last summer, there was a strong expectation that the former first-team all-defense honoree would provide an impact on this Grizzlies team that still had to figure out its backcourt identity.

The trade, logically, was aimed to address any sort of question-marks concerning whether or not star point guard Ja Morant could successfully orchestrate the offense while also maintaining a slew of highlight-reel-worthy plays.

Naturally, this past season for the Grizzlies very quickly turned sour as a plethora of injuries left the team with minimal footage to work from for what did and didn't work for them.

Despite all of this, Smart still managed to find himself taking part in several highlight plays, all of which could be taken straight from a team that looked like it could compete with just about anyone.

Beyond the thrill of his debut and some impressive games, Smart's injury-shorted season felt rather lackluster to look at after all of the offseason hype.

After suffering both an ankle and finger injury, which added to an impressively long list of health-related ailments the team was already dealing with, Smart's season was hindered and whatever was left of the preseason expectation of him seemed to fade.

With that being said, there is still a clear value to a high-intensity, defensive-minded guard, and it's hard to imagine that other teams won't eye the Grizzlies in the offseason with the thought of prying him away.

While it wouldn't be entirely unrealistic for Memphis to retain Smart for his remaining contract years, they could opt to shop him while his value is still relatively high, and, ideally, before a more serious injury potentially occurs.

Smart still has two remaining years on his contract, and while it is by no means a meager amount for other teams, its feasible that teams looking to fortify themselves would be willing to accept the financial implications.

Playing a high-octane style of basketball as Marcus Smart does comes with its benefits and woes. The Memphis Grizzlies could still manage to capitalize greatly on the still relatively young guard, but there could be a sway in mindset to try and upgrade further and trade him in the offseason.

Argument to keep Marcus Smart No. 2) Greasing the offensive engine

When trading for a player with all-defensive honors as well as a Defensive Player of the Year award, there's an obvious expectation for said player to anchor a team and take a primarily one-sided role to best maximize their abilities.

With Marcus Smart, there is a dual-sided expectation of him to be utilized on both the offensive and defensive end, which is reasonable given the former's capacity to lock down even star-level players and provide on-court guidance for offensive pieces the Grizzlies possess.

Naturally, the maestro of the Grizzlies has been Ja Morant recently as the up-and-coming superstar continues to refine his craft, but, ideally, will accept aid from the veteran in easing up on the need for constant court vision.

This ability to keep the offense flowing is essential to what makes Smart even more deadly. Despite only averaging 4.3 assists this past season with a brand new team, Smart averaged a more impressive 6.3 assists per game during his prior 2022-2023 season with the Boston Celtics.

This level of versatility sets Smart apart from prototypical defensive minded guards, and adds an immense amount of value to his presence on the court and with the team as a whole.

Beyond providing a two-way presence, Smart serves as a perfect piece in solidifying a formidable backcourt rotation for the Grizzlies, including the former alongside obvious starter Ja Morant, and essential pieces such as Derrick Rose and Desmond Bane.

As a whole, adding a versatile guard to the rotation is one that comes with immediate upside, and given that Smart will still be under contract for a non-colossal amount, the Grizzlies should look to the upside for how well next season has the potential to go.