NBA Trade Rumors: 2 Notable Teams Call Memphis on Marcus Smart

This season has gone down the drain for the Memphis Grizzlies. They got off to a horrendous start, going 6-19 in the 25 games Ja Morant served for suspension, then after turning it around immediately upon his return, going 7-4, Morant went down with a season-ending shoulder injury, effectively ending any hopes the team had for 2024. 

Are they ready to tear things down and re-tool for a fresh start next season? They've already traded hulking center Steven Adams (who is also out for the season), so why not trade backcourt defensive stalwart Marcus Smart? 

That's what at least two notable teams around the NBA are wondering. The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks have both made calls to the Grizzlies about acquiring the former Boston Celtics guard. 

The Lakers have been looking for another major backcourt piece and have been in serious talks for another impactful defensive guard in Dejounte Murray, but those talks with the Atlanta Hawks seem to have stalled.

As for the Bucks, they've been needing to replace the defense that they lost since trading Jrue Holiday in the Damian Lillard deal. Smart would certainly fit that bill perfectly. 

Alas, these two teams, and others, may be barking up the wrong tree, however. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, "the Grizzlies have shut down any overtures for the veteran guard, sources said".

Smart is averaging a career-high 14.5 points this season, his first in Memphis, while adding 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals in 20 games. 

If he is indeed off-limits, the Lakers will go back to trying to land their other targets, either Murray or Toronto's Bruce Brown, among others. And the Bucks will look elsewhere for their defensive fix.

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