Marcus Smart gets heartwarming welcome in Celtics return after Grizzlies trade

Marcus Smart got a great ovation from Celtics fans

Marcus Smart smiling. Celtics fans in the background. Hearts all around

The Memphis Grizzlies are visiting the Boston Celtics tonight, and while Marcus Smart is not playing against his former team, the fans gave him a heartwarming welcome back to TD Garden as a tribute video played.

Celtics fans made it clear how much they appreciated Marcus Smart’s time with the organization, chanting “We love Marcus!” after the tribute video played.

The Celtics parted ways with Smart in a three-team trade that helped them acquire Kristaps Porzingis from the Washington Wizards. There was a prior three-team deal between the Celtics, Wizards and Clippers that was agreed on, but fell apart due to the medical concerns surrounding Malcolm Brogdon from the Clippers’ standpoint.

Instead, the Celtics and Wizards pivoted to the Grizzlies, who wanted Smart. The Celtics gave in, and then got a third star in Kristaps Porzingis to pair with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

It was a tough way to leave the Celtics for Smart, who thought he would be playing alongside the trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Porzingis.

Instead, he joined a Grizzlies team that looked promising coming into the season, but with the suspension that Ja Morant had to deal with along with the injuries to the team, it has been a massively disappointing year.

Still, the Grizzlies are going to try to rebound next season with a core of players that should be strong, along with an addition from what should be a pretty high pick this year.

The Celtics have been the NBA’s best this season, and they hope to get over the hump to win an NBA title with this group of players.

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