Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart again proves why he should be traded

Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The season is only seven games old, but the Boston Celtics already have an abundance of issues on their hands. With their record sitting at just 2-5 so far, the team has managed to drop games in excruciating fashion on a seemingly daily basis at this point, and questions are beginning to be raised about what needs to be done to fix this team.

Last night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls was arguably the worst of the bunch. The team held a 14 point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but ended up losing the quarter 39-11, and watched their 14 point lead turn into a 14 point deficit by the time the game was over.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Marcus Smart decided to add fuel to an already blazing fire by openly questioning his teammates in his postgame press conference. Among the comments, Smart claimed that the Boston Celtics star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown “don’t want to pass the ball”. It seemed like something that should have been addressed behind closed doors, but Smart decided otherwise.

While Smart’s comments may be warranted, they do nothing other than cause a commotion in the media and tension in the locker room. It’s also not as if Smart has been playing at an All-Star level over these first few games. Despite what his many fans will say, Smart proved once again last night that he is hurting this team more than he is helping it, and it may be time to look to trade the fiery point guard.

Marcus Smart is hurting the Boston Celtics both on and off the court

The 2020-21 season should have been the season where the Boston Celtics reached their breaking point with Smart. His offensive game showed no signs of improvement yet again, and his defensive efforts were not what had come to be expected of him. Heading into the offseason, he only had one year left on his deal, and it seemed like a good time to try to move on from him.

Instead, new President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens decided to hand Smart a four year, $77 million extension, which all but confirmed he would be the starting point guard coming into the season. So far, the move has looked like a mistake.

Now I won’t lie, I have been in favor of moving on from Smart for awhile now. I wasn’t a fan of his extension when he signed it, and I wanted the team to move him over the offseason. Sure, he makes a lot of good defensive plays in clutch moments, but most of the time the games are only close because of how badly he struggles on the offensive side. Smart plays with heart and hustle which you have to respect, but that can only get you so far in this league.

Smart has taken the starting point guard role this season and made an absolute mess of it. He’s shooting a horrid 29.3 percent from the field, and is only averaging four assists per game. The idea of moving Smart to the point guard position was to make him be a playmaker and limit the amount of ridiculous shots he hoists per game. Instead, he has somehow managed to get worse.

Smart has earned minutes throughout his career on the idea that his defensive stature warrants playing time, but so far he’s been borderline unplayable this season. At the rate his is shooting, teams can basically just ignore him because chances are he’s going to miss whether you contest him or not. Smart has never been a reliable offensive player in his career, and if that wasn’t an issue before, it is now.

This is also why his comments to the media last night just look so foolish. Offensively speaking, Smart is playing some of the worst basketball of his career. Yet he decides it’s a good idea to go complain to the media that the team’s two best players aren’t passing the ball enough.

While Tatum and Brown do need to evolve as passers, it’s not as if they were forcing up shots every possession. In fact, Tatum found Smart for a wide open three from the top of the key late in the fourth that could have sparked a rally, but Smart ended up missing the shot.

Smart also finished last night’s game without a single assist. Smart was put in the point guard role to pass, and zero assists typically means you aren’t doing a great job passing the ball. There was really nothing that could have come from his comments, and he’s managed to create another issue for the team to address after an already devastating loss.

Realistically, all this did was prove the front office wrong. They were wrong to give Smart an extension, and should have looked to add a real point guard while they had the chance to in the offseason. They already knew what Smart was capable was, and there wasn’t any reason to believe he was going to drastically improve as a player over the offseason.

Instead, they extended him and gave him a role he almost certainly is not suited for. Not to mention, he’s going out of his way to criticize teammates and trying to get himself the ball more. This quote from his post game presser pretty much shows where Smart’s head is at right now:

"“I mean, I think if I’m getting in the lane and I’m making it easy for other guys, I’m making it easier for everybody,” Smart explained. “Even if my shots aren’t falling, the threat that I put on teams coming off the pick-and-roll and getting to the basket or being in the post. Teams are doubling me in the post and if they do, everybody knows I’m a great passer and I’m going to find guys”"

The problem is, none of this true. Smart isn’t scoring, isn’t passing, and most importantly, teams aren’t scared of him. But in his eyes, he needs the ball more.

Next. Dennis Schroder earning early season praise. dark

Smart hasn’t done anything this season to warrant these comments, yet feels the urge to voice them anyways. For a team that is in desperate need of some team chemistry, this isn’t going to help. Smart is hurting the Boston Celtics more than he is helping them, and until the team realizes this and moves on from him, they are going to continue losing games at an alarming rate.