It’s hard for me to fault the Celtics for selecting Marcus Smart with the 6th pick because I believe he was the best player available. Once you get past the lack of fireworks (see Love, Kevin) and the speculation about how this could impact Rajon Rondo’s future, you should be able to accept the fact that Smart is a talented basketball player with a promising future.
I like Smart from an intangibles standpoint. By all accounts, he’s an excellent teammate, a fierce competitor and charismatic locker-room leader. My question comes on the basketball end of it: He has thrived so far on using his size and strength advantages against smaller, weaker opponents at lower levels of competition. The game in the NBA is creating “separation by threat” — either by threat of quickness (which he doesn’t possess), threat of shooting (a major weakness), or threat of strength (his won’t be as big an advantage for him on the pro level).
Further, he isn’t polished or experienced enough to be a full-time point guard, so he’ll pretty much be learning on the job. There’s a lot of speculation that Rajon Rondo is out the door because of this pick, but I don’t see how a backcourt of Smart and Avery Bradley (should he be retained) have the creativity to drive and run an offense that isn’t even average by NBA standards.
While everyone is entitled to an opinion, I don’t think it’s fair that Elhassan fails to acknowledge half of Smart’s game – his elite defense. Coincidentally, Elhassan praises another player with limited offensive skills and exceptional defensive skills – Aaron Gordon.
At 225 lbs, Smart is going to retain a major advantage over nearly all NBA point guards and most shooting guards.
It’s obvious Smart isn’t a triple threat. If he was, he would have been drafted in the top 3. There’s a reason he fell to 6.
I do give Elhassan credit for acknowledging that Smart’s presence could impact Avery Bradley more than Rajon Rondo. Another wise man recognized this possibility moments after Smart was drafted.