Boston Celtics select Marcus Smart sixth overall


The Boston Celtics selected Marcus Smart sixth overall, creating a bit of a log-jam in their backcourt.

This is the first pick that I don’t particularly love from a current roster fit perspective. Smart is quite redundant to Rajon Rondo, the Celtics incumbent all-star point guard, and I mean that as both a compliment to Smart and as a condemnation of the Celtics. Smart gets into the paint at will and will immediately step into the NBA as an elite athlete at the point guard position. He doesn’t make phenomenal decisions all the time, but he’s a playmaker through and through. To top that off, he’s already an excellent, long defender that should be able to step in and at least force turnovers rather quickly.

However, his weaknesses are the exact same as Rondo’s, namely in reference to the jump shot. Actually, that’s a lie. There is one slight difference in their jump shooting ability. Rondo knows that he’s not a particularly good shooter and doesn’t take long jumpers unless he has to. Smart hasn’t realized this yet, and jacks up outside shots with reckless abandon. In fact, none of the Celtics current guards outside of Avery Bradley are particularly good shooters. So if the Celtics are planning on playing Smart and Rondo together, teams will simply pack the paint and allow them to take outside jumpers.

My guess is that this is a precursor to a Rondo trade. Rondo is simply not on the same time frame that the Celtics are at this point, and there’s no avoiding that. The Celtics have been known to turn situations around quickly, and they’re attempting (probably fruitlessly) to acquire Kevin Love. However, they’d probably be better served at this point tearing it down, and moving Rondo (maybe to the Rockets?) for picks and young players.

Smart’s a good pick if Rondo isn’t in the mix. He’s a really good kid with a strong character that Brad Stevens should enjoy coaching. There are very few players in this draft that you can be certain will be playmakers, and Smart is one of them. But if the Celtics plan on keeping Rondo in the mix, this pick does not make sense to me.