76ers trade for former public enemy No. 1 in this risky proposal

76ers, Joel Embiid - Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
76ers, Joel Embiid - Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid – Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Why should the 76ers steer clear of Marcus Smart

The idea of Marcus Smart donning a 76ers jersey is imbued with as much sense as it lacks kismet, but objectively speaking, banking on him as the team’s marquee in-season acquisition amid their expected post-Harden market hunt is rather underwhelming, if only for the price the Grizzlies are likely to demand for his services.

Despite their struggles, Memphis clearly views Smart as a vital piece, especially given Morant’s mercurial off-court sheen, the team’s lack of veteran-like disposition and poise, and the gaping hole left by Dillon Brooks on defense and in the intangibles department. And with him still on-deck for three more years including this season, there’s little sense for them to actively shop him around, unless the offer is too good to pass up on.

For a win-now team, that too-good-to-pass-up-on offer will almost assuredly have a star player as the nexus. And considering that even draft capital is already burdensome for Philadelphia to lose given the franchise’s ambitious grail in chasing big names via trade this season or during next summer, any more than draft compensation is simply a turn-off to both the Grizzlies and 76ers.

On a basketball vista, the 76ers-Marcus Smart partnership also has some red-colored streaks. His offensive output can wildly vacillate on a nightly basis and his playmaking is not even better than Maxey’s at this juncture. His career three-point shooting percentage of 32.3 percent on medium volume suggests a clunky fit next to Embiid, Maxey, and the team’s litany of scoring options.

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Turning enemies into allies has often been a surprisingly effective remedy to get out of certain quandaries, but in this case, the thought of the Philadelphia 76ers joining forces with Marcus Smart fails to get past mere poetic value, especially considering the price they will likely have to pay.