Say what you want about Marcus Smart and his recent antics, but no matter what his issues are, there is one thing for certain — this kid competes. He may be in need for an attitude adjustment, but the Oklahoma State guard is still a team-oriented player with a drive to win. Smart’s determination and work ethic would be a great fit for the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics currently own the 6th worst record in the NBA with a 6.3 percent chance at obtaining the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft. However, the race to be the worst is going to be highly competitive after the All-Star break and unless Boston makes some moves, they are most likely going to be exactly where they are now, out of the Top 5. This would normally be a disappointment, but with Smart’s anticipated stock drop, the Celtics maybe in perfect position to snatch the highly-skilled guard.
Smart possesses a versatile skill set that is too good to pass up. His creativity makes him an excellent play-maker and shot creator for both himself and his teammates. Smart has excellent shooting technique and he can catch-and-shoot or pull-up from anywhere. He’s been a leader for the Cowboys and has shown how unselfish he is. He can easily over-power opponents with his strength and loves playing defense. Smart is a difference maker and there is no disputing that.
With many polished strengths, he also has a few weaknesses that stand out. He’s not exactly quick or the most explosive guard, his athleticism is limited and at 6-foot-4, and he’s a bit of a tweener. He’s not a true point guard and he’s a bit undersized for the two. Smart is a combo-guard by all means. Of course, there is this attitude problem he has shown instances of. He needs to learn to not let his emotions get the better of him. Most instances are at the heat of the moment, so I don’t think it reveals his character fairly.
Smart is a risk, no doubt, but if anyone is willing to take a risk, it’s Danny Ainge. Ainge isn’t going to let questionable actions of Smart get in the way of evaluating him as a player. He has the perfect coach set in place who Smart would benefit greatly from — Brad Stevens. Stevens will get the most out of Smart because of his tutelage and demeanor. Smart’s leadership, competitiveness, work ethic, and team-oriented play will make him an ideal fit in Steven’s system.
Two possibilities arise with the arrival of Smart — Boston could either let Avery Bradley walk and have Smart play the two while Rajon Rondo is at the helm, or the Celtics could trade Rondo and give the keys to Smart and have him team him up with Bradley in the backcourt. This combination would be utterly disruptive.
I think it is time to move on from Rondo and let Smart take the team in another direction. Jared Sullinger, Smart and Bradley is a solid trio of players to build around for the future. All three play with heart, strive to be better, and are determined to win.
Hopefully GMs will pass on Smart for his actions so he falls in the lap of the Celtics. His drive to win, competitive demeanor, work-ethic, leadership, and undeniable talent make him a no-brainer if he is available.