Marcus Smart: 4 year, $77 million extension

luckiestman

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I'm glad I'm not the only one racking my brain on that one.

I messed up. Always call him TImelord and said let me call him by his initials since I did for all the others and I blew it. Wonder if my brain was thinking Rob. I throw myself at the mercy of the court.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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This move fits the flexibility theme, even if it goes against the grain of the other moves wrt future cap commitments.

We’ve seen recently how much of a ticking clock expiring contracts can be, and how many moving pieces it takes for a star player S+T to work.

This deal easily keeps you in the Beal running, but also extends the window of star-acquiring capability given that Smart will continue to be a useful player and won’t break the bank for a team looking to get whatever assets they can for a star who wants out. And if he stays in Boston, it’s unlikely to be a big negative asset.
 

lexrageorge

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Not that they would've wanted to anyway, but Smart now can't be traded for six months. I don't believe they've announced this years trade deadline date, but if it's around the same time as 2020, Smart can't be traded in season this year either.
NBA All Star game is scheduled for 2/20, which would put the trade deadline at 2/10.

The Celtics would have had to truly gut their roster and renounce some useful players to sign a Beal into cap space. Contract year Smart may have presented unnecessary coaching challenges as well. But Smart does become a useful piece in a sign-and-trade this offseason. If they were to trade for Beal at the deadline, they could still trade Horford and some younger players to match the salaries. Or maybe Stevens got some intel that Beal wasn't coming anyway.
 

Rustjive

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This doesn’t affect the Beal situation at all, and at under $20 mil per this is reasonable and he’s plenty moveable.
100% agree with this. Even the trade kicker doesn't matter - if anything, it makes the Wizards less likely to ask for Smart back in a trade even if he outperforms. I haven't been able to find or think of any situation where a max FA wanted to go to a certain team and the former team refused to entertain a sign and trade as a means of holding the player hostage. If Beal decides he wants to come here then we have a big 1 year salary in Horford and we can balance the trade via any number of picks/assets. Anything that happens at the trade deadline doesn't have that much relevance - I don't think Beal will just magically sign an extension for the team that trades for him.
 

Cesar Crespo

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100% agree with this. Even the trade kicker doesn't matter - if anything, it makes the Wizards less likely to ask for Smart back in a trade even if he outperforms. I haven't been able to find or think of any situation where a max FA wanted to go to a certain team and the former team refused to entertain a sign and trade as a means of holding the player hostage. If Beal decides he wants to come here then we have a big 1 year salary in Horford and we can balance the trade via any number of picks/assets. Anything that happens at the trade deadline doesn't have that much relevance - I don't think Beal will just magically sign an extension for the team that trades for him.
He would have to sign with that team to be traded to the C's. It would be an interesting wrinkle if the C's were working on a S&T with the GSW for Beal.
 

Rustjive

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He would have to sign with that team to be traded to the C's. It would be an interesting wrinkle if the C's were working on a S&T with the GSW for Beal.
I think that for the most part what team is at the other end of the S&T doesn't matter so much - some teams trading for Beal might be more interesting destinations for him and have a chance of convincing him to stay. GSW is one of those teams, but Beal will probably see FA no matter what team he goes to. Otherwise, GSW if anything is a better trade partner for the Celtics if Beal doesn't want to stay there, because Smart on a rebuilding Wizards team is a questionable fit, but he would be extremely interesting on a GFIN, Curry's last gasp GSW.
 

djbayko

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I don;t think he's negative. He's correctly pointing out that star trades aren't THAT common, and that making yourself flexible enough to make them is good, planning on making one isn't, because too many things are beyond your control. Also, a lot of it is that he responds on twitter, and most of his timeline is toxic waste spewed by barely literal mouthbreathers.
I read that tweet as him talking to Celtics fandom, who are all over him asking about implications to a future Beal deal. In that context, he's being a Negative Nancy. Fans can hope for the unlikely if they want. At least this is well within the realm of possibility.

If he were actually talking to the Celtics front office (or GMs in general), then it doesn't make much sense, for a number of reasons, including the fact that you would most likely make this Smart deal regardless of Beal.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Not that they would've wanted to anyway, but Smart now can't be traded for six months. I don't believe they've announced this years trade deadline date, but if it's around the same time as 2020, Smart can't be traded in season this year either.
According to The Athletic, it's 5 months and he could be traded in January.

https://theathletic.com/2774215/2021/08/17/what-does-marcus-smarts-extension-mean-for-celtics-pursuit-of-a-superstar/

The most conspicuous clue the Smart contract is pointing to a trade for a superstar is consummating the deal at summer league rather than right before the season. Because of the truncated offseason with the NBA Finals ending in July, the usual moratorium on trading players following an extension agreement has been shortened from six to five months.

By getting the deal done on Aug. 16, or whenever the ink finally dries this week, the five-month waiting period will come in January and before the trade deadline. So not only will Smart be trade eligible next season, unlike a player who signs an extension just before training camp, but the team could make an early move well ahead of the deadline like the James Harden deal on Jan. 14 this year. It’s likely why the team got to work on the Smart contract once it became clear Beal was not leaving Washington at this point in time.
 

lovegtm

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Not you, but Jared Weiss' article seemed to be implying that they did this deal early so they could move him sooner.
They probably want the optionality. If Smart is playing well in Jan and someone like Beal comes available, you can probably flip him to a 3rd team for assets, which could be big in getting that deal done.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think it is a stretch to say that this contract means they are looking to trade Smart in January.
Not looking but it now opens the door for him to have value in a trade aside from being an expiring contract. This extension increases his trade value to the Wizards or anyone else.
 

Euclis20

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I don't know if it's only interesting to me, but Smart got almost the exact same deal as Fournier (4/77 instead of 4/78 and starting one year later). In that context, I'm pretty happy with this.
 

JM3

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I don't know if it's only interesting to me, but Smart got almost the exact same deal as Fournier (4/77 instead of 4/78 and starting one year later). In that context, I'm pretty happy with this.
The 1 advantage to the Fournier contract is the 4th year is a team option, but yeah, tis fine.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I have loved rooting for Marcus over the years, but I'm hoping they are planning to move him in the future with this deal. I just don't see the fit on this team. I'm tired of watching guys slack off Marcus on defense, forcing the Jays to give it up, so they can find a wide open

Marcus.

And then we get to watch Marcus brick 68/100 3's over the course of every 15 games or so. If I'm Udoka, I'm benching Marcus at the end of every quarter, just because if the ball is in Marcus' hands with under 10 seconds to shoot, Marcus is shooting. Shit, I might call time out any time the shot clock is under 8 seconds and the ball is in his hands.

Defensively, he was nowhere near the same guy last year as he has been previously, and with his body type, I don't see him aging well at all. Sure, he brings plenty of fire and passion and energy and hustle, and on occasion, he'll make one of those "winning" plays, but I think he stunts the games of our two alpha dogs.

I don't know. I just don't know I don't love it at the moment. Hopefully, Udoka can get to him like Brad never could.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The one year the Celtics had a good and deep team offense, Marcus shot less often and better than in any year in the recent past.

I just don't think Marcus' shooting will be a serious problem.
 

nighthob

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I have loved rooting for Marcus over the years, but I'm hoping they are planning to move him in the future with this deal. I just don't see the fit on this team. I'm tired of watching guys slack off Marcus on defense, forcing the Jays to give it up, so they can find a wide open

Marcus.

And then we get to watch Marcus brick 68/100 3's over the course of every 15 games or so. If I'm Udoka, I'm benching Marcus at the end of every quarter, just because if the ball is in Marcus' hands with under 10 seconds to shoot, Marcus is shooting. Shit, I might call time out any time the shot clock is under 8 seconds and the ball is in his hands.

Defensively, he was nowhere near the same guy last year as he has been previously, and with his body type, I don't see him aging well at all. Sure, he brings plenty of fire and passion and energy and hustle, and on occasion, he'll make one of those "winning" plays, but I think he stunts the games of our two alpha dogs.

I don't know. I just don't know I don't love it at the moment. Hopefully, Udoka can get to him like Brad never could.
Marcus took shots last year because he had to. Kemba missed 40% of the season, who else was supposed to be shooting, Daniel Theis? Tristan Thompson? Jeff Teague? In the years when Boston had shooters/scorers Smart barely shot the ball. With more guys like him on the floor he likely shoots less this year.
 

Rustjive

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but I think he stunts the games of our two alpha dogs.
I'm not sure you can find a single stat to support this, actually. With or WIthout You stats all show that Smart is a net positive for both the Jays. Smart is actually a better teammate for Jayson than Jaylen:

Tatum with Smart On/Off: 57.7% TS and 1.19 PPP on to 54.5% TS and 1.14 PPP.
Tatum with Jaylen On/Off: 58.3% TS and 1.18 PPP on to 57.1% TS and 1.20 PPP.

In addition, the most frequent passer/assistor to both players is Smart. The looks he gets them are far better than their normal looks -

Jaylen received 18.9% of his passes from Smart. He shot 52.6% overall and 48.7% from 3 from those passes. He received 15.4% of his passes from Tatum. He shot 43.9% overall and 37.3% from 3 from those passes.
Tatum received 17.7% of his passes from Smart. He shot 45.9% overall and 43.4% from 3 from those passes. He received 15.6%/11.3%/7.7% of his passes from Kemba/PP/Jaylen. He shot 39.6%/39.3%/42.3% overall and 36.4%/42.9/36.1% from 3 from those passes.

I've also posted before that Smart's usage is appropriately low when both Jays (15.7%), just Jayson (16.7%) or just Jaylen (17.6%) are in the game.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Its interesting that people are concerned about Smart's worst tendencies now being allowed to run unchecked when the NBA coach most familiar with his strengths and weaknesses is the very same person who offered him this extension. This is not to say that Brad Stevens is infallible because he clearly is not. But unless you honestly believe that Stevens et al thinks Smart is the best offensive player on the team, why would they knowingly keep him around when he is just going to be a net negative to Tatum and Brown.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Its interesting that people are concerned about Smart's worst tendencies now being allowed to run unchecked when the NBA coach most familiar with his strengths and weaknesses is the very same person who offered him this extension. This is not to say that Brad Stevens is infallible because he clearly is not. But unless you honestly believe that Stevens et al thinks Smart is the best offensive player on the team, why would they knowingly keep him around when he is just going to be a net negative to Tatum and Brown.
I'm standing by my theory that when Smart does stupid things (like heat check with 20 seconds on the clock) it looks so obviously terrible that it sticks in the mind and people overestimate how often it happens.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Its interesting that people are concerned about Smart's worst tendencies now being allowed to run unchecked when the NBA coach most familiar with his strengths and weaknesses is the very same person who offered him this extension. This is not to say that Brad Stevens is infallible because he clearly is not. But unless you honestly believe that Stevens et al thinks Smart is the best offensive player on the team, why would they knowingly keep him around when he is just going to be a net negative to Tatum and Brown.
To secure his trade value. If you are the Wizards say and you know you have to move Beal at the deadline to best control and maximize your return......would you prefer an expiring contract in Smart who can walk in two months or a quality player to replace Beal at his position that is locked up for 3 more years?
 
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I don;t think he's negative. He's correctly pointing out that star trades aren't THAT common, and that making yourself flexible enough to make them is good, planning on making one isn't, because too many things are beyond your control. Also, a lot of it is that he responds on twitter, and most of his timeline is toxic waste spewed by barely literal mouthbreathers.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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To secure his trade value. If you are the Wizards say and you know you have to move Beal at the deadline to best control and maximize your return......would you prefer an expiring contract in Smart who can walk in two months or a quality player to replace Beal at his position that is locked up for 3 more years?
There is no question that this deal was designed to be moveable if the opportunity arises. But that opportunity isn't there yet and now Smart is with the team until at least the deadline.

My question remains the same - if his game is deleterious to Tatum and Brown why not find a deal for him now?

Is the view that the Celtics will just grin and bear his chucking/power grabbing ways because they know he will absolutely be moved? Under what scenario does Boston extend Smart knowing that he is only hurting them on the floor going forward?
 

Deathofthebambino

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Marcus took shots last year because he had to. Kemba missed 40% of the season, who else was supposed to be shooting, Daniel Theis? Tristan Thompson? Jeff Teague? In the years when Boston had shooters/scorers Smart barely shot the ball. With more guys like him on the floor he likely shoots less this year.
Marcus took more shots in 2019-20 than he did in 2020-21, when Kemba played 56 of 72 games, Gordon played 52 games, etc. He actually shot less last year than the previous year, and he averaged 1 more mpg last year than the previous year.

In the playoffs in 2019/20, Marcus took even more shots, 11.6pg, than he did in the regular season (11.4). Then he bumped up to 13.2/g in this year's playoffs.

The best shooting year that Marcus ever had (by a longshot) was in 2018/19 when he averaged 7.1spg. If Marcus only takes 7 shots per game this year, I don't care if he shoots 30%.

I've never had a problem with Marcus as a facilitator. My issue with Marcus is when he chooses not to facilitate. He throws away so many possessions with terrible shots, or boneheaded decisions and/'or hero ball, and I just don't think his energy/defense is going to continue to mask all of those issues on offense. You know who has much higher usage rates than Marcus and is a better shooter? Dennis Schroder.

I'll be shocked if Marcus Smart is playing for the C's in 2022-23, but that's just me. We'll see how it plays out, but I have to think Brad has a plan and that plan will be to move Marcus, and this signing helps that (as HRB keeps pointing out).
 

HomeRunBaker

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There is no question that this deal was designed to be moveable if the opportunity arises. But that opportunity isn't there yet and now Smart is with the team until at least the deadline.

My question remains the same - if his game is deleterious to Tatum and Brown why not find a deal for him now?

Is the view that the Celtics will just grin and bear his chucking/power grabbing ways because they know he will absolutely be moved? Under what scenario does Boston extend Smart knowing that he is only hurting them on the floor going forward?
I don’t feel his game is a detriment to The Jays but the reason they couldn’t trade him again was that he was an expiring contract which limits his trade value for one and for two he is likely the key piece in our ultimate deadline deal for Beal.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I don’t feel his game is a detriment to The Jays but the reason they couldn’t trade him again was that he was an expiring contract which limits his trade value for one and for two he is likely the key piece in our ultimate deadline deal for Beal.
His contract situation is well documented. There are people here suggesting that Smart is hurting the team's results and particularly the production of Tatum as well as Brown. I am simply wondering if that view includes Stevens knowingly putting an inferior team on the court so that he can maybe swing for the fences in a deal down the road or if its just that the Celtics, the data and some fans are failing to see these huge red flags.
 

HomeRunBaker

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His contract situation is well documented. There are people here suggesting that Smart is hurting the team's results and particularly the production of Tatum as well as Brown. I am simply wondering if that view includes Stevens knowingly putting an inferior team on the court so that he can maybe swing for the fences in a deal down the road or if its just that the Celtics, the data and some fans are failing to see these huge red flags.
I can’t imagine that. He’s fine with this group but his greatest value to the organization right now is as the key match for Beal.
 

bakahump

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I get frustrated with Smart at times too. But how the heck did we jump to "His game is holding back the Js".

You mean the same Game he has had for the last 5 years. During which time the Js have made stride after stride?

Well hell we shoulda traded him years ago and the Js would be the 2 Best players in the league.
 

Eddie Jurak

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His contract situation is well documented. There are people here suggesting that Smart is hurting the team's results and particularly the production of Tatum as well as Brown. I am simply wondering if that view includes Stevens knowingly putting an inferior team on the court so that he can maybe swing for the fences in a deal down the road or if its just that the Celtics, the data and some fans are failing to see these huge red flags.
I'm going with the latter, since I think the alleged red flags are BS.
 

lexrageorge

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Marcus took more shots in 2019-20 than he did in 2020-21, when Kemba played 56 of 72 games, Gordon played 52 games, etc. He actually shot less last year than the previous year, and he averaged 1 more mpg last year than the previous year.

In the playoffs in 2019/20, Marcus took even more shots, 11.6pg, than he did in the regular season (11.4). Then he bumped up to 13.2/g in this year's playoffs.
Regarding the bolded, Brown missed the entire playoffs, and Kemba missed the last 2 games. Smart's playing time when from 32mpg to 36.6mpg, and his game-by-game rank in shots in that series was 3 (behind Tatum and Kemba); 1 (was 6-13 on a night that Tatum went 3-12); 5; 3 (behind Tatum and Fournier); and 2 (tied w/ Fournier). He finished 2nd overall with 66 shots, while Fournier was 3rd with 63. Bottom line is that he took shots because someone had to take those shots. And he shot 37% from 3, so it's not like those shots hurt the team.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Regarding the bolded, Brown missed the entire playoffs, and Kemba missed the last 2 games. Smart's playing time when from 32mpg to 36.6mpg, and his game-by-game rank in shots in that series was 3 (behind Tatum and Kemba); 1 (was 6-13 on a night that Tatum went 3-12); 5; 3 (behind Tatum and Fournier); and 2 (tied w/ Fournier). He finished 2nd overall with 66 shots, while Fournier was 3rd with 63. Bottom line is that he took shots because someone had to take those shots. And he shot 37% from 3, so it's not like those shots hurt the team.
If Marcus could shoot for an entire season the way he did in the Brooklyn series, I would love everything about him. Unfortunately, I don't think that's a possibility, and the last two games of the Brooklyn series, when he went 3/19 from deep (and 9/29 from the floor) are not really outliers in his game. You're right though, someone had to take those shots.

However, assuming this team is healthy, I'd rather see PP, Tatum, Brown, Horford, Nesmith, Schroder all taking more shots than him. As much as I dislike Grant's game, I'd rather see him standing waiting for a kick out than Smart.

I don't think Jayson and Jaylen's development is being hurt by Marcus. I think their success (and by extension), the team's success would be better served with someone who can actually shoot on the floor with them. The NBA is a make/miss league. Marcus Smart misses too much. And when he's the one taking the shots, he's also not getting back on defense to stop teams from getting out on the run, which eliminates the most important part of his value to the team. And I'm not saying its because he's loafing it or being lazy, it's just that if you take it to the hoop or even take a jumper, usually, you won't be the first one back on D.

Including the playoffs, when Marcus took 14+ shots in a game last year, the Celtics went 2-12. When he took 10+ shots, they went 13-22.

This team is worse when Marcus Smart takes shots away from virtually anyone else, and that includes the Jays. When he took less than 10 shots, the C's went 10-6.

And folks keep ignoring the fact that last year, anyone who watched the games religiously was well aware that he wasn't the same defensively. It was chocked up to everything from being out of shape coming in, the short offseason, other players on the team not doing their jobs, but he wasn't the same guy, and IMO, his body type is going to make it tough as he gets older to stay in front of guys and shut down elite guards and wings.

I'm not against the signing, and think Brad played it right, but that's because I think Brad has a plan to move him. But I'm about done with the Marcus experience. Give me 43% from the field and 37% from deep and I'll change my mind pretty quickly, or keep the same shooting percentages as he has now, and take like 5-6 less shots per game.
 

JakeRae

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Including the playoffs, when Marcus took 14+ shots in a game last year, the Celtics went 2-12. When he took 10+ shots, they went 13-22.

This team is worse when Marcus Smart takes shots away from virtually anyone else, and that includes the Jays. When he took less than 10 shots, the C's went 10-6.
Correlation doesn’t equal causation. As others have repeatedly noted in this thread, Smart shoots more when the players around him are bad at offense and shoots less when they are good at offense. In other words, just like was the case late in the Nets series, I would bet that most of those high shot volume games came with other key Celtics players hurt, making it no surprise they lost those games.

Smart takes too many shots when the alternative is watching the likes of Semi Ojeleye try to create offense. I’m not sure that’s a feature, but it’s not a bug.
 

Jimbodandy

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Including the playoffs, when Marcus took 14+ shots in a game last year, the Celtics went 2-12. When he took 10+ shots, they went 13-22.
This is a great set of numbers.

When Marcus is the guy taking lots of shots, we're fucked. I think that we need to really look at those games.

Is Marcus taking those shots because fuck the offense? Fuck the Jays, I'm launching? Is that what we're seeing here, in general?

I ask these questions because that's not what I see. Sure, he'll heat check like everyone. But you watch the games too. When the offense is going through the motion with its tail between its legs, Marcus says fuck it and launches. You'd rather that Tatum took more step back 28 footers? You're probably right that the PPP is a little higher than Marcus heat checks. Probably.

I'd pay to see a breakdown of those 14+ FGA games. I'm not sure that they show what you think they show.
 

ManicCompression

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Correlation doesn’t equal causation. As others have repeatedly noted in this thread, Smart shoots more when the players around him are bad at offense and shoots less when they are good at offense. In other words, just like was the case late in the Nets series, I would bet that most of those high shot volume games came with other key Celtics players hurt, making it no surprise they lost those games.

Smart takes too many shots when the alternative is watching the likes of Semi Ojeleye try to create offense. I’m not sure that’s a feature, but it’s not a bug.
Your argument strengthens his point, though. Marcus is not good enough to be the third best player on a team. Yeah, he may have been surrounded by bad players, but it speaks to his inability to carry an offense that they don't win games when he takes on more of a burden.

That's fine when he's playing with Kyrie or peak Kemba or if they got Bradley Beal, but he's now paid like the third best guy and we should be fearful of ol' Chucker Smart whenever injuries hit. He's limited their options for getting a better third best guy because now he's getting $20 mill a year (unless they make a trade, specifically using him as the contract piece).

That's a lot of pressure on Nesmith/Romeo/PP to develop fast and be good offensive players, for Al to find the fountain of youth, or for DS/JR to return to form in contract years after being fairly unimpressive the last few seasons. If any of those things happen, this is moot because Marcus will be pushed further down the chain. I don't know that we can depend on any of them happening, though.

Offensive cog Marcus is not and that's fine in a vacuum - the defense, tertiary shot creation, intensity are all good features - but he's being foisted into a role of "third best guy" that isn't ideal for him because he just can't shoot well enough consistently.
 

lexrageorge

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This is a great set of numbers.

When Marcus is the guy taking lots of shots, we're fucked. I think that we need to really look at those games.

Is Marcus taking those shots because fuck the offense? Fuck the Jays, I'm launching? Is that what we're seeing here, in general?

I ask these questions because that's not what I see. Sure, he'll heat check like everyone. But you watch the games too. When the offense is going through the motion with its tail between its legs, Marcus says fuck it and launches. You'd rather that Tatum took more step back 28 footers? You're probably right that the PPP is a little higher than Marcus heat checks. Probably.

I'd pay to see a breakdown of those 14+ FGA games. I'm not sure that they show what you think they show.
The breakdown: no. of shots, opponent, (W/L), comments:

19, Philly (L): No Tatum, and Jaylen took 24!
17, Philly (L): No Tatum; Brown took 28, and Kemba took 16
17, Nets (L): No Brown, no Kemba. Tatum took 27
17, OKC (L): No Tatum, no Kemba. Brown took 26.
15: Knicks (L): No Tatum. Brown took 20.
15: Spurs (L): Smart was tied for Walker for 3rd, after Tatum's 25 and Brown's 19.
15: Bucks (W): Very balanced shot distribution w/ Tatum (18), Kemba (16), Brown (15) all pitching in.
15: Pelicans (L): No Brown. Tatum had 25, Kemba had 18.
15: Golden State (W): No Brown. Smart was 3rd behind Tatum (25) and Kemba (20).
15: Detroit (L): No Kemba. Tatum (24) and Brown (21) led the way.
14: Memphis (L): No Tatum. Brown had 24.
14: Portland (L): No Kemba. Brown (22) and Tatum (19) topped the shooter list.
14: Heat (L): No Brown. Tatum and Fournier had 16 each.

In all but 2 of those games (1-1), one of the Celtics key starters was out. And in none of those games did Smart lead the team in shot attempts.

And in the games where Smart took 10-13 shots, the Celtics went 10-7.

EDIT: I do agree w/ @ManicCompression to some extent that Smart is not the person you necessarily want being #3 in shot attempts overall. But a big part of the problem last season is that there was a huge drop off in offensive talent after Smart. It was part of the reason Ainge traded for Fournier; unfortunately, an untimely bout of CoVid and Brown's subsequent knee injury totally derailed those plans. Richardson and Schroder should alleviate that problem to some extent.

Also, I don't believe Stevens intends for Smart to be the #3 star long term, but he may very well be the #4.
 
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Your argument strengthens his point, though. Marcus is not good enough to be the third best player on a team. Yeah, he may have been surrounded by bad players, but it speaks to his inability to carry an offense that they don't win games when he takes on more of a burden.

That's fine when he's playing with Kyrie or peak Kemba or if they got Bradley Beal, but he's now paid like the third best guy and we should be fearful of ol' Chucker Smart whenever injuries hit. He's limited their options for getting a better third best guy because now he's getting $20 mill a year (unless they make a trade, specifically using him as the contract piece).

That's a lot of pressure on Nesmith/Romeo/PP to develop fast and be good offensive players, for Al to find the fountain of youth, or for DS/JR to return to form in contract years after being fairly unimpressive the last few seasons. If any of those things happen, this is moot because Marcus will be pushed further down the chain. I don't know that we can depend on any of them happening, though.

Offensive cog Marcus is not and that's fine in a vacuum - the defense, tertiary shot creation, intensity are all good features - but he's being foisted into a role of "third best guy" that isn't ideal for him because he just can't shoot well enough consistently.
There are two problems with your premise.

First, he’s not getting paid like the third best player but the fourth. You can see this because he’s, literally, the fourth highest paid player on our team but he’s also getting paid in line with someone like Marcus Morris, accounting for cap/salary inflation. To help illustrate this from the other side, Smart’s contract will pay him $21 million in his last year. Steph Curry will make $59 million that year.

Second, the fact that he’s ill suited to being a top 2 scoring option doesn’t mean he’s overpaid or not valuable. Dray was the third best player on both a championship team and a team that set the regular season wins record and he is not a good scorer either. Jrue was the second or third best player on a title team this year and is not much better than Smart at scoring but uses a lot more possessions despite that.

In short, players contribute in different ways. Smart is a complimentary player who plays really good defense, passes well, and is a willing shooter who shoots well enough that defenses have to defend him on the perimeter. He’s getting paid at a level that is a good but not amazing value.
 

nighthob

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Your argument strengthens his point, though. Marcus is not good enough to be the third best player on a team. Yeah, he may have been surrounded by bad players, but it speaks to his inability to carry an offense that they don't win games when he takes on more of a burden.

That's fine when he's playing with Kyrie or peak Kemba or if they got Bradley Beal, but he's now paid like the third best guy and we should be fearful of ol' Chucker Smart whenever injuries hit. He's limited their options for getting a better third best guy because now he's getting $20 mill a year (unless they make a trade, specifically using him as the contract piece).
He's not getting $20 million per year and isn't impacting their ability to acquire a third star. And it's not "Chucker Smart" that's causing Boston to loase when their stars are injured, it's the fact that their stars are injured.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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The breakdown: no. of shots, opponent, (W/L), comments:

19, Philly (L): No Tatum, and Jaylen took 24!
17, Philly (L): No Tatum; Brown took 28, and Kemba took 16
17, Nets (L): No Brown, no Kemba. Tatum took 27
17, OKC (L): No Tatum, no Kemba. Brown took 26.
15: Knicks (L): No Tatum. Brown took 20.
15: Spurs (L): Smart was tied for Walker for 3rd, after Tatum's 25 and Brown's 19.
15: Bucks (W): Very balanced shot distribution w/ Tatum (18), Kemba (16), Brown (15) all pitching in.
15: Pelicans (L): No Brown. Tatum had 25, Kemba had 18.
15: Golden State (W): No Brown. Smart was 3rd behind Tatum (25) and Kemba (20).
15: Detroit (L): No Kemba. Tatum (24) and Brown (21) led the way.
14: Memphis (L): No Tatum. Brown had 24.
14: Portland (L): No Kemba. Brown (22) and Tatum (19) topped the shooter list.
14: Heat (L): No Brown. Tatum and Fournier had 16 each.

In all but 2 of those games (1-1), one of the Celtics key starters was out. And in none of those games did Smart lead the team in shot attempts.

And in the games where Smart took 10-13 shots, the Celtics went 10-7.

They went 48-34 in the regular season in 2019/20, and IIRC, when Marcus took a lot of shots (I forget if I looked at 10+ then), the C's were 17-16.

In that loss to Detroit, when Marcus took the 3rd most shots on the team, they had no Kemba, as you note. But 8 days earlier, also without Kemba, Marcus took 3 shots against Milwaukee, despite leading the team in minutes, and the C's took down the Bucks.

In that subsequent win against the Bucks later in the year that you note above, he made 7/10 from deep and the C's won by 8. It was probably one of the best nights of his career.

Then he takes a bunch of shots a couple days later, and they lose to the Pelicans by 6 when he goes 6/15 and 0/6 from deep.

My problem with Marcus isn't that he takes a lot of shots, it's that he misses a lot of them, and most of his shots, like by a large margin, are with no defender within 4 feet of him. I think it was like 65% of his shots. When you have guys like Tatum and Brown on the team pulling defenders like a super version of athletic gravity, you're going to have open looks elsewhere. Marcus Smart, IMO, hasn't shown that he can hit the open shots, and nowhere near a clip that he should if he's taking that many shots. Mattise Thybulle can't shoot either, which is why he only takes like 3-4 shots a game. It doesn't matter if Embid is out or Ben Simmons can't shoot, Thybulle doesn't shoot. Guys like Justin Holiday can shoot circles around Marcus, and even he doesn't fire as many 3's per game as Marcus does. Indiana didn't have every guy play every game last year, but it didn't mean some guy who cant shoot should be chucking. That's when you need Marcus to create open looks for guys that can shoot.

Edit: And this is the main point, wrt to the Jays. If defenses can slack off Marcus and force him to beat them, they can help on the Jays. If you replace Marcus outside with a guy who can shoot like PP (I know, we're talking about apples and oranges) and knock down those open looks at better than a 33% clip, it'll open things up for the Jays significantly.

2nd edit: I forget the exact number now, but something like 65% of Marcus' shot attempts come with nobody within 4 feet of him. If you are getting that many wide open looks, you have to make more than he does, or defenses will keep giving you open looks and force you to shoot. Tatum had something like only 5% of his 3 pointers with no defender within 6 feet, and he makes like 52% of them. I don't obviously think Marcus will ever hit 50% of anything other than free throws, but is 40% when there isn't anyone guarding you too much to ask? If he did just that, he'd be like a 37-38% 3 point shooter.
 
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ManicCompression

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There are two problems with your premise.

First, he’s not getting paid like the third best player but the fourth. You can see this because he’s, literally, the fourth highest paid player on our team but he’s also getting paid in line with someone like Marcus Morris, accounting for cap/salary inflation. To help illustrate this from the other side, Smart’s contract will pay him $21 million in his last year. Steph Curry will make $59 million that year.

Second, the fact that he’s ill suited to being a top 2 scoring option doesn’t mean he’s overpaid or not valuable. Dray was the third best player on both a championship team and a team that set the regular season wins record and he is not a good scorer either. Jrue was the second or third best player on a title team this year and is not much better than Smart at scoring but uses a lot more possessions despite that.

In short, players contribute in different ways. Smart is a complimentary player who plays really good defense, passes well, and is a willing shooter who shoots well enough that defenses have to defend him on the perimeter. He’s getting paid at a level that is a good but not amazing value.
Clearly Al Horford is the third highest paid player, but as he's been dumped twice as a negative value contract, he is not viewed that way. Marcus just signed that contract, so we can infer that the Celtics see his role as a $20 million player at the moment. That matters I would think.

Also, Smart is not Draymond Green. He is a perimeter defender, which is innately less valuable than what Draymond provides to the Warriors on defense. If Marcus had Draymond's size and ability, yes, of course we would not be having this discussion because the entire Celtics roster would probably be different. Also, I hate to say it, but Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are not peak Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They need a better third wheel than a smaller, worse version of Draymond Green.

Marcus is also not in the vicinity of Jrue Holiday. If Marcus Smart was on the same Bucks team, I don't think they win the Championship. I would be surprised if a lot of people here shared that opinion with you. Certainly the league and the Celtics do not share this opinion with you if you look at their contracts and trade value.
 

Jimbodandy

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The breakdown: no. of shots, opponent, (W/L), comments:

19, Philly (L): No Tatum, and Jaylen took 24!
17, Philly (L): No Tatum; Brown took 28, and Kemba took 16
17, Nets (L): No Brown, no Kemba. Tatum took 27
17, OKC (L): No Tatum, no Kemba. Brown took 26.
15: Knicks (L): No Tatum. Brown took 20.
15: Spurs (L): Smart was tied for Walker for 3rd, after Tatum's 25 and Brown's 19.
15: Bucks (W): Very balanced shot distribution w/ Tatum (18), Kemba (16), Brown (15) all pitching in.
15: Pelicans (L): No Brown. Tatum had 25, Kemba had 18.
15: Golden State (W): No Brown. Smart was 3rd behind Tatum (25) and Kemba (20).
15: Detroit (L): No Kemba. Tatum (24) and Brown (21) led the way.
14: Memphis (L): No Tatum. Brown had 24.
14: Portland (L): No Kemba. Brown (22) and Tatum (19) topped the shooter list.
14: Heat (L): No Brown. Tatum and Fournier had 16 each.

In all but 2 of those games (1-1), one of the Celtics key starters was out. And in none of those games did Smart lead the team in shot attempts.

And in the games where Smart took 10-13 shots, the Celtics went 10-7.

EDIT: I do agree w/ @ManicCompression to some extent that Smart is not the person you necessarily want being #3 in shot attempts overall. But a big part of the problem last season is that there was a huge drop off in offensive talent after Smart. It was part of the reason Ainge traded for Fournier; unfortunately, an untimely bout of CoVid and Brown's subsequent knee injury totally derailed those plans. Richardson and Schroder should alleviate that problem to some extent.

Also, I don't believe Stevens intends for Smart to be the #3 star long term, but he may very well be the #4.
Thanks. This is about what I expected.

Either way, this argument dies out when the season starts. Marcus, on a team that has plenty of shot creators and depth won't generally take a shitload of shots anymore. Frankly I'll enjoy the peace and quiet on the subject this year except for the weird outlier games next year where Marcus goes off the rails and the board explodes for one night.
 

Rustjive

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They went 48-34 in the regular season in 2019/20, and IIRC, when Marcus took a lot of shots (I forget if I looked at 10+ then), the C's were 17-16.
We can do this all day long but it's meaningless because like we said, correlation is not causation. I definitely mentioned this in another thread, but Smart's highest usage situations come when the Celtics are trailing, and his usage only goes up the more they trail by. You are looking at it backwards - the Celtics don't lose because Smart shoots a lot, but rather, when the Celtics are losing Smart shoots more. This is a direct reflection of how passively the Celtics play on offense when they are behind - ball movement disappears, it just becomes a litany of bad ISO possessions. This has held true for almost as long as Brad has been coach, to be honest.

If you just take a couple of steps back, boiling down wins and losses to 'Smart shoots a lot' is extremely reductive and obviously way too simplistic. Do you really think that Smart goes 'I feel like shooting a lot tonight' and then it's like 'oops, we lost'?

I don't obviously think Marcus will ever hit 50% of anything other than free throws, but is 40% when there isn't anyone guarding you too much to ask?
The NBA.com tracking numbers aren't my favorite, since it seems like 4+ feet is a lot but by those same metrics 67% of Tatum's 3 were 4+ ft open (and as great of a shooter Tatum is, he shot 41% on those, so think about the validity of those tracking numbers/what you're asking of Smart). Usually I use the 6+ feet if I do use those tracking numbers, and Smart shot 37.4% on those. Over the season, he was 3 makes out of 131 attempts away from your goal.
 

slamminsammya

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They went 48-34 in the regular season in 2019/20, and IIRC, when Marcus took a lot of shots (I forget if I looked at 10+ then), the C's were 17-16.

In that loss to Detroit, when Marcus took the 3rd most shots on the team, they had no Kemba, as you note. But 8 days earlier, also without Kemba, Marcus took 3 shots against Milwaukee, despite leading the team in minutes, and the C's took down the Bucks.

In that subsequent win against the Bucks later in the year that you note above, he made 7/10 from deep and the C's won by 8. It was probably one of the best nights of his career.

Then he takes a bunch of shots a couple days later, and they lose to the Pelicans by 6 when he goes 6/15 and 0/6 from deep.

My problem with Marcus isn't that he takes a lot of shots, it's that he misses a lot of them, and most of his shots, like by a large margin, are with no defender within 4 feet of him. I think it was like 65% of his shots. When you have guys like Tatum and Brown on the team pulling defenders like a super version of athletic gravity, you're going to have open looks elsewhere. Marcus Smart, IMO, hasn't shown that he can hit the open shots, and nowhere near a clip that he should if he's taking that many shots. Mattise Thybulle can't shoot either, which is why he only takes like 3-4 shots a game. It doesn't matter if Embid is out or Ben Simmons can't shoot, Thybulle doesn't shoot. Guys like Justin Holiday can shoot circles around Marcus, and even he doesn't fire as many 3's per game as Marcus does. Indiana didn't have every guy play every game last year, but it didn't mean some guy who cant shoot should be chucking. That's when you need Marcus to create open looks for guys that can shoot.

Edit: And this is the main point, wrt to the Jays. If defenses can slack off Marcus and force him to beat them, they can help on the Jays. If you replace Marcus outside with a guy who can shoot like PP (I know, we're talking about apples and oranges) and knock down those open looks at better than a 33% clip, it'll open things up for the Jays significantly.

2nd edit: I forget the exact number now, but something like 65% of Marcus' shot attempts come with nobody within 4 feet of him. If you are getting that many wide open looks, you have to make more than he does, or defenses will keep giving you open looks and force you to shoot. Tatum had something like only 5% of his 3 pointers with no defender within 6 feet, and he makes like 52% of them. I don't obviously think Marcus will ever hit 50% of anything other than free throws, but is 40% when there isn't anyone guarding you too much to ask? If he did just that, he'd be like a 37-38% 3 point shooter.
This weird tangent about team record conditioned on a number of shots taken is only fair if we do it for every player.
 

Eddie Jurak

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However, assuming this team is healthy, I'd rather see PP, Tatum, Brown, Horford, Nesmith, Schroder all taking more shots than him.
On a per minute basis, all but Nesmith did shoot more often than Smart last year. And Nesmith is a good bet to shoot more this year than last.

And for all of your criticism of Smart's shooting and his defense last season, the Celtics were still a better team with him on the floor than with him off the floor.
 

Fishy1

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Clearly Al Horford is the third highest paid player, (1) but as he's been dumped twice as a negative value contract, he is not viewed that way. Marcus just signed that contract, (2) so we can infer that the Celtics see his role as a $20 million player at the moment. That matters I would think.

Also, Smart is not Draymond Green. He is a perimeter defender, which is innately less valuable than what Draymond provides to the Warriors on defense. If Marcus had Draymond's size and ability, yes, of course we would not be having this discussion because the entire Celtics roster would probably be different. Also, I hate to say it, but Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are not peak Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. (2) They need a better third wheel than a smaller, worse version of Draymond Green.

Marcus is also not in the vicinity of Jrue Holiday.
If Marcus Smart was on the same Bucks team, I don't think they win the Championship. I would be surprised if a lot of people here shared that opinion with you. Certainly the league and the Celtics do not share this opinion with you if you look at their contracts and trade value.
I think you're really missing the point here with this Smart contract.

(1) Horford was dumped from Philly because he was a terrible fit next to Embiid. Elton Brand really screwed that pooch. Playing him at the four is a waste of his abilities and asks him to guard a lot of wings who are too fast for him. When he was on the court for OKC, they won enough games to endanger their tanking and they had to come to an agreement with him to bench him for the rest of the season. He's still an above-average center on both sides of the ball and will age well.

(2) Does anyone actually disagree with this? He was comparing Smart to Draymond and Jrue as complementary defenders, not saying Smart is as good as them. No one thinks Marcus is good enough to be the third best player next to the current iterations of Jaylen or Jayson. That's a strawman.

And as for the contract: it is tailor-made to be traded. Nearly everyone on this board has been arguing that this summer's contracts and deals were made to acquire expirings and contracts that can be traded for Beal or another star. People have whinged that Beal isn't guaranteed -- but of course he isn't. Nobody is. You set yourself up for the trade anyway.

(3) Not to nitpick, but why do you think so and what do you mean by vicinity? Jrue is obviously the better scorer -- but Smart has been Jrue's equal on defense year-in, year-out, and Smart has maintained good AST%'s despite not having the ball in his hands that much. And Smart has had seasons where by advanced statistics he's been worth just as much as Jrue. There's a lot of talk of Smart's decline, but he's only 27 and is an excellent athlete. Smart alone couldn't save last year's defense from injuries, Brown's indifference, and TT's inept rim protection, especially since he had to pick up so much slack on offense with so many injuries.

Look, nobody's ignoring Smart's flaws. But I do think having a guy like Smart is really helpful to playoff teams: Holiday, Green, even guys like PJ Tucker, they have another gear on defense that other guys don't. Smart's always had awful all-around shooting percentages, but he's been trending in the right direction for a while now while increasing his volume, and a lot of Smart's weak shooting percentages has to do with the fact that he takes so many more three-pointers than he does two-pointers. He's improved at the latter in the last three years (when he's not been injured) and it's not impossible he'll continue to improve. I'm also aware of the possibility that he'll regress -- but with the addition of two competent slashers in J-Rich and Schroder and the return of Horford, the offense will hum much better than last year, and Smart won't be forced to take shots he can't make.

Next year's team is not a contender: but they're set-up now between Smart and Horford's contracts and the expirings with Schroder and Richardson to wheel and deal. As far as we know, that's the best the Celtics could have done this offseason, and with the Tatum-Beal connection, the Celtics are in a position to make the best move they can.
 

benhogan

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Smart's 3pt shooting is mostly irrelevant if he's paired w/PP, Al, JAYS. Those four are +++ 3pt shooters for their position. Marcus can focus on distribution (along w/Al) + organizing the perimeter D.

A 2nd unit of TL/JRich/Schroder/1 of JAYS is also potent at the end of Q1/Q3, the start of Q2/Q4

If we get any one of Romeo, Nesmith, Grant stepping forward this season the team gets interesting
 

benhogan

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Next year's team is not a contender: but they're set-up now between Smart and Horford's contracts and the expirings with Schroder and Richardson to wheel and deal. As far as we know, that's the best the Celtics could have done this offseason, and with the Tatum-Beal connection, the Celtics are in a position to make the best move they can.
Correctamundo

Three things
1. Competitive this season, looking for several breaks to make an outside run in the playoffs
2. Positioned to add a Beal/3rd wheel at trade deadline/next Summer with contracts/picks/young talent
3. Go nutz with the TPEs next Summer (&/or opportunistic at the trade deadline), pay luxury taxes, and take advantage of JayCrew peak seasons which will start by the 2023 playoffs IMO
 

ManicCompression

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@Fishy1 I think we're more in agreement than not here. I responded because the piss-poor record when Smart shoots a lot was waved off as "look at the surrounding talent" and while that's true, it says something about Smart's ability and the role he fills and what value that role actually is. That's not on him, that's on the Celtics for being a thin team in that regard last year, but there's clearly a very low floor for this team if he is thrust into situations that he doesn't succeed in and has to take a larger offensive responsibility. If he's taking up 15% of the cap, it's harder to allocate that money to players who can do that unless you trade him for a better player.

As you note, Marcus is great if he's like the 4th or, ideally, 5th best player on the team and this contract is a lot of money to throw at that kind of a player. The defense is nice, but not all that valuable - it's not like Marcus just erases guys on the perimeter. How long have we complained about quick guards chewing up our defense? There's only so much a defense-forward guard who doesn't shoot well can add in terms of value, which is why you typically don't see these guys raking in huge contracts (and if they do, they're almost immediately negative value, like Gary Harris or Eric Bledsoe or Ricky Rubio).

If the Celtics can/will pay a huge luxury tax payment and have their 4-5 guy earning $20 million a year with three other guys at near max, I'm all for it. If they can trade him for a better player, sign me up, and if one of the young guys pops enough to shoulder more of a scoring load or Schroeder/Al/Jrich return to form, even better.