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Celtics’ asking price for Marcus Smart in Timberwolves deal

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Report: Celtics’ asking price from Wolves in potential Smart deal originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Marcus Smart appears to be drawing interest around the league as the NBA trade deadline approaches. But the Boston Celtics are driving a hard bargain.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are among the teams “definitely trying to trade for Smart” before Feb. 10, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported Friday. Wolfson also hinted at what Boston wants in return, however, and it’s a decent haul.

“Unless (the Wolves) include a first-round pick or Jaden McDaniels in addition to Malik Beasley, (a deal) most likely doesn’t get done,” Wolfson said on Skor North’s “Mackey & Judd” podcast.

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The Celtics recently discussed a Beasley trade with Minnesota that involved sending Josh Richardson and either Aaron Nesmith or Romeo Langford to the Wolves, according to The Athletic. So, it appears they have interest in Beasley, a 25-year-old guard who averaged 19.6 points per game last season while shooting 40% from 3-point range.

If Boston is to part with Smart, though, it sounds like the team wants draft capital or McDaniels — a 6-foot-9, 21-year-old power forward with upside — in addition to Beasley.

Wolfson’s report reflects how much the Celtics value Smart. While the 27-year-old has struggled offensively this season, he leads the team in assists (5.5 per game) and has been an excellent facilitator for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He also continues to play elite defense — tied for second in the NBA in steals at 1.9 per game — and is shooting 54.3% from the floor over Boston’s current 5-1 stretch.

Beasley still would be an offensive upgrade over Smart, and the Celtics need more shooting if they want to compete with the Eastern Conference elite. But Ime Udoka’s commitment to defense is starting to pay off, and dealing Smart would set the C’s back in that regard.

So, it appears Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will only move his longest-tenured player if Boston can get a strong return package.



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