This NBA offseason has seen many moves be made very quickly. Lebron James, who usually waited at least a week before choosing his team, decided on the first day of free agency. Then, Demarcus Cousins, debatably the best center in the NBA, signed with the Warriors on day 2. Huge names moving very quickly. We’re well over 10 days into free agency, and Marcus Smart has yet to be signed to a deal. Reports have been all over the place regarding the Celtics and Smart. I’ve seen everything from “Marcus Smart is hurt the Celtics haven’t made an offer”, all the way to “Celtics and Smart discussions have been great”. Recently, the Kings have made it known their interest in the defensive minded guard. All of these conflicting stories and updates have me thinking, do the Celtics really need Marcus Smart on their team?
Marcus Smart’s role next season would be quite less with the return of Hayward and a full season of Kyrie. First, he’d be the 6th or 7th man in the rotation for the team. Many people even believe that Rozier would be ahead of Smart in the rotation. If that’s a role that Smart is okay with playing, then there should be no issues. Also, he’s the defensive backbone of the team. He averages right around 1.5 steals per game and can always be counted on to get the 50/50 loose balls. Smart’s hustle plays really rub off on the rest of the guys and have them working just as hard on the defensive end. Before Kyrie got to Boston, he was thought of as a pretty bad defender. He got to Boston, made some nice hustle plays, and people shat themselves. That was the Marcus Smart effect. Finally, Marcus Smart is the identity of Boston. Celtics fans remember that iconic moment in the playoffs when Smart looked up at the fans and pointed to where it said Boston on his jersey.
The Celtics NEED Marcus Smart
Without Smart, the Celtics are the best team in the East. With Smart, they are a lock to be in the Finals. Marcus Smart is the ideal playoff piece. The put it into better perspective, in the past 2 seasons the Celtics are 2-1 against the Warriors when Smart plays. Last season, the game Smart did not play, Curry scored 49 points. The game Smart did play, Curry scored 9 points. Smart is a 40 point difference in against the best shooter of all time. The Celtics NEED Marcus Smart. Without Smart, the Warriors have 100% chance to win the 2019 NBA Finals. With Smart, Curry won’t be as effective, and the Warriors only have an 80% chance to win the NBA Finals. The Warriors are disgustingly top heavy, and the Smart gives Boston great depth against the Warriors.
While the general fan might see Smart as just a bench guy, he’s the centerpiece to the Celtics. Smart could start for the Kings and be their best player. Maybe he lowkey prefers that, but there’s no denying his love for Boston. A lot of players nowadays go for the shine *cough* Kyrie *cough* rather than winning, but as a Celtics fan, I want to see Smart in green his entire career. Smart would be the defensive backbone for the NBA Championship winning team if he stayed.
Will Smart Stay?
I predict that even if the Kings give Smart an offer, Danny Ainge will match it. Ainge has always thought highly of Smart and loved his playstyle. The only way Ainge won’t match the offer is if the deal is for more than 20 million a season. The Kings are a garbage franchise and might do that just to fuck over Boston. Either way, a deal will be happening for him in the near future. I have a nice feeling Smart will be wearing green and ready to start his 5th season for the Boston Celtics.
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)