Boston Celtics Reportedly Eyeing Phoenix Suns' Jalen Smith

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Jalen Smith
Jalen Smith #10 of the Phoenix Suns grabs a loose ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on August 8, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The rumor mill is in full effect as the NBA trade deadline is getting closer, and the Phoenix Suns have once again been linked to a trade deal--this time with the Boston Celtics.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report claims that the Celtics are not willing to break up their star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, opting instead to move their other pieces in order to bring in players that would fit the pair’s playstyle that includes second-year big man Jalen Smith of the Suns according to his sources.

He also proposed the idea of guard Dennis Schroder being involved in these trade talks in order to avoid the luxury tax, citing the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks as possible trade partners.

The International Business Times could not independently verify the information presented.

Should there be any truth to these rumors, the Suns could attempt to go after Schroder themselves but at the expense of backup point guard Cameron Payne instead of Smith.

ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine nullifies a Payne plus Smith deal due to the Celtics going above the luxury tax threshold, but a one-for-one deal between Smith and Schroder works out.

However, the Suns would understandably need to include picks in order to make it work, but it does create a logjam at the point guard position.

Other than Payne, the Suns currently have Chris Paul as the starter and Elfrid Payton as the third-string point guard.

It does make sense to upgrade the position as Payne has been performing objectively worse this season with percentages of 38.8 from the field and 31.9 from three, down from last season’s 48.4 percent and 44 percent in the respective categories.

Enticing the Celtics to give up Schroder for Payne makes basketball sense, but a new problem could arise in the form of team chemistry.

Payne brings a light-hearted atmosphere to a locker room that is clearly following in the footsteps of the cerebral leader in Paul, so the Suns will have to weigh their options carefully.

There is no doubt that Smith is their most enticing trade piece right now as he has shown his value as an all-around contributor that can score from deep, which has prompted trade rumors regarding other teams like that of Robert Covington from the Portland Trail Blazers.

Suns general manager James Jones is certainly working overtime to determine whether making moves at the deadline will help push the team to title contention now or they have enough pieces as it is to repeat last year’s almost-Cinderella story.

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