After 17 games, fans are starting to realize why the self-proclaimed “new and improved” Marcus Smart did not receive a contract extension during the offseason. While his preseason games looked promising, Marcus has not been able to provide much of anything in terms of offense thus far. He has marked a horrendous 27.3 shooting percentage for both field goals and from behind the arc.
The 2014 sixth overall pick has excelled in other area despite his offensive struggles. Posting career highs in rebounds and assists has provided a boost off the bench that is unmatched from anyone else on the current roster.
Smart also consistently puts forth outstanding effort and does everything in his power to capitalize on the 50/50 balls and hustle plays. Unfortunately, there is no stat for that, but anyone who watches the Boston Celtics knows what I’m talking about.
With that said, we must ask the question: Do the pros that Smart brings to the table outweigh the cons?
On one side, you could look at the defensive rating, where Smart is currently atop the entire league. That alone may be enough for some people to believe he is valuable and deserves a spot on the team, dismissing the fact that defensive rating also relies heavily on teammates.
Combine good defense with a scrappy player always willing to get his hands dirty, and that right there is plenty of reasoning as to why he is a great young player that fits well in Brad Stevens’ system.
On the flip side, Boston’s offensive rating ranks just 18th in the league. Trading or letting Smart walk to open up space for someone who provides more of a scoring spark off the bench could be worthwhile, especially when considering the huge deficits the Celtics often find themselves in after a cold spell.
Overall, the 23-year-old has a lot of work to do before developing into a great all-around basketball player. Thankfully, he has plenty of years to do that which is why he deserves to stay in Boston for at least a couple more seasons.
As of now, Smarts lack of scoring is a burden. Nonetheless, should he gain a shooting touch in the future to go hand in hand with elite defense, the 6-foot-4 guard could quickly become one of the best two-way players in the league.