Getty Marcus Smart # 36 of the Boston Celtics drives against Jimmy Butler # 22 of the Miami Heat.

Jaylen Brown spent the latter part of the offseason and the early parts of the 2020-21 routine season engulfed in trade chatter. Nevertheless, his ascension into, attempt I state, full-blown superstardom, has actually made the 24-year-old damn-near untouchable.

Moving focus into the Boston Celtics’ backcourt, colleague Marcus Smart has actually taken pleasure in a breakout season of sorts too. Easily lauded for his defensive expertise over his previous six professional projects, Smart has showcased a budding offending arsenal, headed by his playmaking skills. Handling a bigger function as a distributor with All-Star Kemba Walker sidelined to start the year, Smart has actually averaged 6.0 helps per game, a 24.8% help portion and a 15.0 gamer performance ranking, all of which mark new career-highs.

Follow the Heavy on Celtics Facebook page for all the most recent stories, rumors and viral material!

Smart’s growth on the offensive end has actually not gone undetected. In reality, it’s done the total reverse, as Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has dubbed the 26-year-old Boston’s “best trade chip.”

Here’s what Buckley had to say:

The Boston Celtics have a set of untouchables in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, an on-the-mend All-Star in Kemba Walker, a small collection of role gamers and a host of prospects who have not shown sufficient pop to be thought about a top trade chip. Marcus Smart lies someplace in between, which makes him sole ownership of the top-asset classification.

His toughness and ferocity have implanted him in the material of the franchise, so he wouldn’t be shown the exits in just any deal. However if Boston noticed a soft area in its roster– state, the Al Horford replacement the group has yet to reveal– then Smart’s $13.4 million wage would almost definitely require to be compromised.

Anything except a smash hit, however, and the bulldog protector with a better-than-you-think outdoors stroke (35.3 percent because the start of 2018-19) would be too valuable to let go. The unlikelihood of stated needle-mover coming together midseason needs to keep Smart draped in green and white.

Even with Kemba Walker back in the lineup, Smart is vital to the Celtics’ success on both ends of the court. Never ever was this more obvious than in Boston’s blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers this past weekend, where the two-time NBA All-Defensive First string selection flaunted his wide array of facets to his ever-growing game. Smart ended up the night with 12 points, 9 assists and 5 steals, the latter 2 of which were both game-highs.

In addition, Smart has actually been critical in Jaylen Brown’s development as a scorer. In fact, as of earlier today, Smart’s 40 assists to Brown were the most among any assist combo in the league this season (h/t USA Today’s Chris Forsberg). Include the truth that Smart is widely considered the heart beat of the Celtics’ group, per his fellow teammates, and you ‘d be hard-pressed to discover a plan worthy of moving off of the 26-year-old.

Smart might see his production take a small hit with Walker steadily regaining his pre-injury type and rookie Payton Pritchard’s upcoming go back to the court. Yet, Smart will remain an integral part of Boston’s title hopes, despite what package rating might say.