Marcus Smart will prove to be a valuable investment for the Boston Celtics.
On the surface, it may feel as if the Boston Celtics overpaid for a Marcus Smart extension. However, at least for this version of the Celtics, the $77 million investment over four years is something that Boston had to make.
In addition to the extension, Boston has also made it clear that Smart will enter the season as the starting point guard. Even after the team signed Dennis Schroder during free agency.
Smart being a starter is not exactly something new; him being the primary point guard, though, is to a certain extent. Over the last two seasons, Smart has grown into more of a full-time starter. However, most of the time, that was flanked by Kemba Walker, the team’s previous point guard.
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With Kemba gone (now with the New York Knicks), Smart will now take over the role for the Celtics. And if this report is accurate, that means the Celtics will have plenty of options in how to fill out the rest of their starting 5.
Marcus Smart as a point guard?
Assuming Smart will start at point guard, the Celtics could either slide Jaylen Brown to the 2, Jayson Tatum to the 3, and go big at the 4 and 5 positions (perhaps starting both Al Horford and Robert Williams).
Or, the Celtics could want flexibility and stay “small” with Smart at the 1, insert Josh Richardson at the 2, Brown at the 3, Tatum at the 4, and then Horford or Williams at the 5.
Boston will have options all while still having arguably one of the best sixth men in the league, Schroder, coming off the bench. Of course, this is the assumption that Boston is not going to start both Smart and Schroder.
Smart gives Boston versatility on both ends of the floor at the point guard position considering he’s a natural playmaker and the fact that he’s a menace on the defensive end of the floor. Smart can guard nearly every position and would allow Boston to implement many different defensive strategies. He also has all the intangibles that you want to see out of a leader.
Much of what Smart does to impact the game usually doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. That said, Smart is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 13 points and six assists on 40 percent shooting from the field.
It seems like the Celtics are handing the point guard reins to Smart and that’s become clear with the big extension that they gave him. At this point, you can’t second-guess Boston’s decision just yet.
And, in fact, you have to trust that this investment will ultimately pay off in the long run for the Celtics.