Ex-Grizzlies big Xavier Tillman reveals Marcus Smart's take on Celtics

Utah Jazz v Memphis Grizzlies
Utah Jazz v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Leading up to Thursday's trade deadline, the Memphis Grizzlies opted to serve as sellers, trading away several of their regular rotational commodities in exchange for future cap relief and draft assets.

Arguably the biggest transaction made by the franchise prior to the February 8 cutoff was the deal that sent Xavier Tillman to the Boston Celtics, a move that netted them two second-round selections.

Since arriving in Beantown, the tweener big has seemingly been greeted with open arms from the franchise and his new cohorts, with veteran Al Horford publicly sharing his excitement to have the 25-year-old come aboard.

During his first shootaround interview donning green and white threads, Tillman was asked by reporters if he had spoken with Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart if he had shared any advice about how one can flourish in Boston, a place the vet called home for the first nine years of his NBA career.

While he admitted he hadn't spoken to his former teammate since being dealt, he revealed a previous conversation he had with Smart where he drew parallels between the fanbases of the two franchises and how both highly value hard work over anything.

Ex-Grizzlies big Xavier Tillman reveals past Marcus Smart conversation

"He was just telling me about his experience [with the Celtics]. I haven't spoken to him since I've been traded. The main thing he told me is it's very similar to Memphis in terms of the grit and the grinding and how hard you have to work for the fans to appreciate you and stuff like that and once you do show that you're willing to hustle they're going to love you after that."

Xavier Tillman

Though there are many ways one can describe the play style of Tillman, perhaps at the top of the list is his high-end energy and willingness to hustle, attributes that endeared himself to the Grind City faithful throughout his nearly four-year stint.

The big man found himself amid one of the best seasons of his career through 34 games played with the Grizzlies this year, posting solid all-around averages of 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks.

Now officially a member of the Celtics, it should only be a matter of time before the fanbase grows to appreciate Tillman's on-court contributions as Memphis' faithful followers have over the past several campaigns.