WALTHAM – There was one person very happy that the Celtics didn’t pull off a trade last Thursday night during draft night.
As one of the youngest and most talented defensive guards in the NBA, Marcus Smart was at the center of many trade rumors involving the Celtics. He knew there was a possibility that he might be dealt away as the Celtics tried to move out of the No. 3 spot and get a proven impact scorer.
As it turned out, the Celtics and Danny Ainge didn’t pull the trigger, leaving Smart to continue his plans for another season in Celtic green.
“I’m ecstatic to remain a Boston Celtic,” Smart beamed Tuesday at his youth basketball camp at Brandeis. “I love Boston. I love their fans. I love the organization and everything about it.”
There was also something else that didn’t happen Thursday that played to the apparent advantage of Smart. The Celtics didn’t draft another defensive-minded guard. They chose Jaylen Brown over Kris Dunn.
“That was weird because Danny being a defensive-minded guy, so you kind of would’ve thought that was where he was going,” Smart said. “We were excited for whoever we got and we are excited with the picks that Danny has picked, and the front office and we’re ready to go.”
Smart, like Isaiah Thomas, has started to make his pitch for Kevin Durant. But there are other areas that could be addressed with as much as $62 million of cap space to play with.
“That’s a hard question for me to answer,” Smart said. “I haven’t really paid too much attention or focus on what they should do. That’s not my job. My job is to go out there and play and I kind of leave that up to Danny and those guys. They’ve been doing this for a long time. They know what they’re doing. Whoever or whatever they do, I support it and I’m with them.”
Smart understands the frustration of Celtics fans who are hungry to see the team make big moves.
“Definitely. We expect that next step as a team. Everybody is working on their game,” Smart added. “Everybody is ready. We text each other every day and everybody is just excited. You can see it, hear it in the voices when we talk to each other. We can’t wait to get back and just start working out with each other and get that connection again.
“I think the next step for us as a team is to just go out there and [not] worry about everybody expects from us because that’s Boston fans. They’re diehard. They’re going to be on you when you’re doing go. They’re going to be on you when you’re doing bad, and that’s why we love them, and they deserve that. They deserve to have their voice. I think, for us, it’s not to really listen to all the expectations. Just go out there and play.”
A lot of people heard Jaylen Brown announce his arrival last week in Boston by proclaiming that he “wants to rip somebody’s head off.” Smart, who’s been known to say an aggressive thing or two on the court, just smiled Tuesday when asked about it.
“I laugh. I like it. I like it. And I think Danny loves it,” Smart laughed. “He’s an athletic wing. The dude is a freak of nature, actually, athletic-wise. I’ve seen him play a little bit. His defense is a little scary, having that length on him. I’m excited to be able to play in the backcourt with him.”