Report: Lakers and Bucks interested in Marcus Smart

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks are interested in Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer.

However, the Grizzlies don’t appear to be interested in moving Smart, who is currently out of the lineup with a finger injury.

“While several clubs — including the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, sources said — have phoned Memphis about obtaining defensive stalwart Marcus Smart, the Grizzlies have shut down any overtures for the veteran guard, sources said,” Fischer wrote.

The Grizzlies acquired Smart this past offseason in a three-team deal with the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Boston. A former Defensive Player of the Year, Smart was expected to lead the Grizzlies at the guard spot while Ja Morant served his 25-game suspension to open the 2023-24 season.

Things haven’t worked out this season as Memphis would have liked, as Smart has been limited to just 20 games due to various injuries. Morant is also now done for the season after undergoing surgery on a labrum tear in his shoulder.

The two-time All-Star played in just a handful of games for Memphis this season.

Smart is under contract with the Grizzlies through the 2025-26 season, so the team may not be in a rush to trade him. Instead, the Grizzlies may want to see how Smart can work alongside Morant and Desmond Bane next season when everyone is presumably healthy for the team.

It makes sense that the Lakers and Bucks are interested in Smart, as both teams could use an upgrade at the guard spot on defense.

The Lakers signed guard Gabe Vincent in the offseason to fill that void, but the defensive-minded guard has barely played this season due to a knee injury. That’s left the Lakers a little thin at the position behind D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves.

As for the Bucks, the team still is looking for a defensive stopper at the guard spot after trading away Jrue Holiday in the Damian Lillard deal. It’s unclear what Mlwaukee or Los Angeles would be willing to part ways with to obtain Smart’s services.

This season, Smart is averaging 14.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from 3-point range.

The three-time All-Defensive selection has not played since Jan. 9.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.