|2014 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 6th overall by Boston.|
|5th July, 2014||NBA||Signed four year, $14,831,260 rookie scale contract with Boston. Included team options for 2016/17 and 2017/18.|
|4th December, 2014||D-League||Assigned by Boston to Maine Red Claws of the D-League.|
|5th December, 2014||D-League||Recalled by Boston from Maine Red Claws of the D-League.|
|30th October, 2015||NBA||Boston exercised 2016/17 team option.|
|31st October, 2016||NBA||Boston exercised 2017/18 team option.|
|19th July, 2018||NBA||Re-signed by Boston to a four year, $52 million contract.|
|2012 - 2014||Oklahoma State (NCAA)|
|June 2014 - present||Boston Celtics (NBA)|
June 29, 2018
PG/SG - 6’4, 220lbs - 24 years old - 4 years of experience
Amid the injuries came the usual Marcus Smart package. A lot of ball pressure, a lot of jawing, plenty of intensity, a lot of missed shots, and a lot of bad shots.
You credit younger players for their offensive aggression when they are good scorers, learning with potential, or adjusting to the NBA game when every stop in their career thus far has involved them being a gifted offensive player. But this is not true of Smart. His gifts are defensive, and his offensive aggression is a problem.
While these forced and/or overconfident threes go up, it bears remembering that Smart is among the game’s best defensive players, particularly so at his position. The tenacity doesn’t end, and the combination of size, agility, length and hands make him a total pest on opposing guards and a very good switch option at any position. He will chase around wings and give it his best in the post if needs be, and if not drawn on the initial action, he will free-roam and invariably get involved. He is really very good at this.
That is what makes it a shame, then, that he is so insistent on being something that he isn’t offensively. If he could put away all but the most open jumpers, keep pushing the ball and throwing lobs, he would do enough good offensively to stop negating the defence. Alas, here we are.
Incidentally, unlikely though it is to succeed, Golden State should make a run at Smart this summer. Him and Draymond would be quite something.
Player Plan: Entering restricted free agency. Smart does bring attributes to a team that any team would love to have. But considering that which he takes away, what is the right price, especially considering the Celtics’ cap situation? I personally would not go above a three year full MLE. But I bet others would. And at that point, he might just have to be let go. This is the price of the Superteam system.
June 29, 2017
PG/SG, 6’4, 220lbs, 23 years old, 3 years of experience
Career projections of his offence are not working out, but the defence is remarkable, with ball pressure, unabashed confidence, and the physical profile to defend at least three positions. Every team could use a play-er like Marcus Smart, even if they have both Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. If he can spot-up better from straight on, develop in the post, finish better around the rim and become more of a threat off the dribble without needing to become a defence breaker-downer, Smart can go one or two levels further. At some point, though, the Bradley-or-Smart decision may be coming, especially given that, barring an extension, both head for free agency next summer.
Player Plan: Beginning final year of rookie scale at $4,538,020 and eligible for an extension. If there is a possibility of cap room in 2018, it would probably be cheaper to extend him in advance, given the new CBA’s increase in rookie scale free agent cap holds beginning that summer.
June 19, 2014
Marcus Smart - Smart can't shoot, that much we know. He's not a half court point guard, either, not even especially close to what John Wall was at this age, back when John Wall wasn't much of a half court point guard either. As much as he attacks, throws himself to the rim and gets to the line, he also drives into trouble without knowing why at times, looks to score before he looks to pass, and seems to not have the best offensive IQ. Smart's physical stature allows for some slightly quirky usage as a point guard, not just driving around screens but also setting them, which might be fun to see with Olynyk down the road, but at this point his passing vision, consistency and understandings of time and score all need a lot of work, work that comes through experience. He seemed to struggle much more against better quality competition, which doesn't bode well, and was pretty inconsistent. The biggest thing Smart could do to help himself is to stop taking overconfident jumpshots early in the clock, many of which would be bad shots even for good shooters, which he certainly is not. Maybe he learns, maybe he doesn't. His offensive skill set in the half court is a legitimate concern and needs a lot ot work.
However, ignore that for the moment. Look at the defensive play. Smart has greater size, greater athleticism, terrific lateral quickness and a high motor. He should dominate the point guard position on defense. Smart is disruptive, persistent and energetic, an absolute harasser on that end. He is strong, he is fast, and he gets to the spot before the defender. Smart takes charges, flops egregiously (which is sort of a virtue, however noxious), and has chase-down blocks in a way that no other point guard really does. He is not ready made on this end, and will probably make some rookie mistakes with fouls and missed rotations in the early days. But he is so, so projectable on that end.
There's a long way to go on offense. But just being as athletic as he is will be half the battle won.