Grizzlies reporter drops truth bomb on Marcus Smart trade rumors

Beat reporter Damichael Cole sheds light on why the Memphis Grizzlies could consider trading Marcus Smart this offseason.
Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns
Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Last summer, the Memphis Grizzlies pulled off a rather splashy move by acquiring veteran guard Marcus Smart via a three-team deal involving the Boston Celtics.

A deal initially lauded by fans and pundits alike, as he was seen as a great leader and defensive replacement for the, then, recently departed Dillon Brooks, the 30-year-old's arrival out in Grind City was viewed as a sign that the franchise was sporting a full-blown, win-now mentality.

However, fast forward a year later, and we find that the once revered talent is heavily intertwined in recent trade chatter, as The Athletic's Kelly Iko went as far as to say that Smart has "fans" in the likes of general manager Rafael Stone and head coach Ime Udoka of the Houston Rockets, a team that the Grizzlies are reported to have interest in swapping draft picks with.

While the concept of Memphis parting ways with the guard after just one season may seem a bit confusing to some, during a recent episode of Locked on Grizzlies, host and beat reporter Damichael Cole dove into the reasons for why such a move could make sense for the club.

Grizzlies beat reporter explains logic behind Marcus Smart trade rumors

"When Marcus Smart was brought in, the idea was that was someone the Grizzlies needed. They lose Dillon Brooks, they need this wing defender. The way that I've outlined it to this point is he's still someone you want, like you value what Marcus Smart brings, but need, I'm not sure because the emergence of Vince Williams and to a lesser GG Jackson -- he's still only 19. The Grizzlies didn't have wings that they trusted going into last season and now you got two guys that you add to the rotation. It makes sense that Marcus Smart's name is brought up [in trade talks]."

Damichael Cole

Smart proved to be a solid contributor for the Grizzlies during his debut season with the franchise, as he wrapped with solid per-game averages of 14.5 points, 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals. Unfortunately, however, the veteran saw just 20 games played on the year as he suffered from several nagging injuries, his latest being a finger injury that sidelined him from mid-January onward.

During his absence from the lineup, young wing players like Vince Williams Jr. and GG Jackson were able to come across meaningful minutes within the rotation that, in the end, they wound up taking full advantage of and earned long-term contracts with Memphis as a result.

Their emergence in the rotation, coupled with the notion that Smart's offensive game, in particular, doesn't appear to mesh all that well within Taylor Jenkins' scheme and when filling in at the one for superstar Ja Morant seem to craft a case for why he could be available on the trade block this summer.

While Cole has noted in the past that he may not be in favor of the franchise trading the veteran, there's certainly some logic to why they could ponder on the possibility of striking on such a move.