Although it would cost them a fan favorite in Smart, the proposed mega trade would also be beneficial to Celtics. Nurkic would satisfy their need for an entry-level center position, while Little and Jones Jr. would give them two talented prospects that could be developed or used as trading chips in future deals.
“Failure of contract negotiations or fear of losing Smart to free agency next year could cause the Celtics to trade in their beloved goalkeeper,” Schwartz wrote. “Nurkic is a huge upgrade over Thompson as the team’s starting position, but Little is a good defender who can play both front positions. Jones gives Boston an athletic wing on the bench.”