The Atlanta Hawks have expressed interest in trading for Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart and New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball, according to Shams Charania.
There’s no indication, however, that Smart is available.
The Celtics desire for trading Smart is unknown, as he is a crucial part of the team and one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA.
Unless the Hawks were offering John Collins, who the Celtics have previously shown interest in, it’s unlikely that the Celtics would engage the Hawks in trade talks.
In six games since coming back from a calf injury, Smart, 27, is averaging 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 three-pointers per game.
Ball on the other hand, has had his name come up several times in recent trade rumors, being linked to the Hawks and Chicago Bulls.
The Pelicans are asking for at least one good first round pick or a young player and talks with the Hawks have revolved around Cam Reddish, notes Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer.
The fact that the Pelicans are even exploring trades involving Ball, who’s only 23 years old, speaks to the odd position the franchise is in. On paper, it makes sense to keep Ball’s adaptable skill set. But it’s hard to rationalize locking him into a large contract alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram when this core is losing so many games.
Ball is averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game, as well as 3.0 three-pointers per game.
The 23-year-old has played well lately, averaging 15.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game in his last three games.
He will be a restricted free agent this offseason.