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Boston Celtics Take Marcus Smart Sixth In the 2014 NBA Draft

With the sixth pick, the Celtics take Marcus Smart. I like it. That’s my analysis so far. We’ll update this with some quotes shortly. For now, comment away. The 17th pick looms.

Here’s some thoughts from Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck (and some thoughts on those thoughts).

“Our guys have been focusing on Marcus for several weeks. We really liked the top six guys in the draft quite a bit. We thought he was exceptional in a lot of ways.”

Not much to add here. Smart has a lot of question marks, but there’s a lot of things to like about him. Boston undoubtedly loves his attitude, his defensive effort and his competitiveness. I love all those things as well.

Here’s Wyc on Rondo:

“It’s interesting, that wasn’t a topic of conversation tonight. We have confidence in Brad that he can manage a roster…That’s a strategy when you are rebuilding, you take the best available athlete and then you work it all out.

“I don’t think this has anything to do with Rajon Rondo.”

This is what Wyc is expected to say, of course, but he was very emphatic that this pick didn’t affect Rondo’s status with the Celtics. We’ll see.

Are there still fireworks in the cards?

“I always said fireworks were a possibility, but it takes two to tango, and there just hasn’t been that much movement tonight…We’ll keep working the phones.”

For what it’s worth, Wyc even referenced Trader Dan. It’s tough to imagine the Celtics will just take the 17th pick and chill.

Wyc agrees. On acquiring a second-round pick:

“I wouldn’t be surprised. If they want to do that, it’s fine financially, of course. There are limits on what you can spend. (Under the salary cap) you can spend $3 million in a year and we spent $1.4. We have 1.6 to go get a pick. I know we have people we are interested in in the second round.”

So much potential talent will still be available. But before then, the Celtics have the No. 17. Here we go.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • hax

    Mortified right now.

  • Mark

    I know this much he is not a PG. I hope the Wade comparisons are close although Smart does seem more humble than Wade.

    Desperately wanted Embiid.

  • John

    I’d rather have seen the celtics go for a wing that can score, or a big. I liked Randle at #6, but apparently he didn’t want to come to Boston. I don’t like drafting guards that can’t shoot, especially when you know that is the biggest short coming of your star PG.

  • check12check

    1. Not a good pairing with Rondo. neither of them can stretch the floor, so defenses are going to load the middle with very little worry. The upside would be the potential to be really good on defense. Also, I was really impressed with how fast he looked. especially for a guy who is carrying 225 pounds. Also, maybe more evidence to show that we are preparing to move Rondo?

    2. I have serious questions about how well his game is going to transition to the NBA. For example, how are those finishes around the rim going to look when he has to take contact from NBA bigs (all the contact I saw here looked pretty damn soft). I also wonder about his ability to rebound at the next level. In this video, it appeared like he was just being more physical than anyone else, but he’s going to be matched up with other top athletes soon. Moreover, he was using his arms to create space more than anything else. I couldn’t help but think to myself that his jump looks……well…..not exactly impressive.

    I feel like this morning made out future more confusing than clear

    • Ping

      Before I defend the pick, let me be clear that my first reaction last night was disappointment. I, like many others in Boston, had convinced myself that Embiid would be sitting there at 6. But I have to face reality and trust my team. Philly made the correct choice at 3 by taking the best player available. Utah did the same when Exum slipped a bit. I trust Danny did due diligence in asking what it would take to move up, so I can’t complain. Embiid, Exum, and Gordon were all gone before 6. The C’s made the right choice for what they had.

      Smart has bigger upside than Vonleh, Randle, and McDermott. He is an absolute stud defensively. He has the size, lateral quickness, and speed to hound 1-3. Oft overlooked is his team defense. He already knows how to play on a string, while possessing great skill and knowledge when it comes to cutting off passing lanes and trying for steals. I expect him to be every bit as good, if not better than Bradley defensively.

      Everyone seems to want to complain about Smart’s shooting, which is fair, but they ignore the rest of his offensive game. He’s an oncoming train in the paint, and his OREB and FTA numbers are excellent for his position. Smart will find the ability to score in the NBA because while shooting is important, there are other ways to contribute. Just ask Aaron Gordon.

      If Smart can improve his shot and skills as a creator on offense, his ceiling goes far beyond Tony Allen or Bradley. He may become Dwyane Wade. My best comparison is Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe was phenomenal alongside Dragic and is known as a defensive bull. Yet he’s 6’1″, 195. Smart is 6’4″ 220.

      Disappointing that Embiid didn’t fall to us? Yes. Still, the C’s got an impact player with a very high ceiling and did the best they could. I’ll gladly take the next Bledsoe at 6.

      • hax

        I don’t think his ceiling is too high, personally. (Just my opinion, could be wrong of course). The one place that can and should be hugely improved is his jump shooting/overall scoring. His other skills, like defense, feel ‘maxed out’ already. That’s more of a compliment, really, but I expect him to become a Starting PG, just not a superstar.

  • hax

    Expecting us to trade into the 2nd round to get Tavares

  • Michelle Trybulec

    C’s go Young and Smart. Good adjectives anyway. If they keep these guys, training camp should pretty high octane at the very least.

  • DWillis

    This draft has a Billups/Mercer feel to it

    • Bdiddy

      You have obviously not seen these guys play very much. Smart if allowed to start at the 2 will average 15ppg, 6rpg and 5 apg. He is a stat stuffer and plays with the intensity of Lance Stephenson. Would you take Lance Stephenson with the 6th pick? He shot 33% from 3 point land in 2012 and 35% last year. Is that a knockdown 3 point shooter? He will bring an edge to the team that is his best value.

  • skeeds

    I remember dismissing Smart as a selection back when I watched that scouting video the first time. He is nowhere near to being an NBA PG, because of his mediocre handling skills and his shooting mechanics are lousy. Bad shooting & bad ball handling are the worst possible combination of weaknesses for a guard.
    However, I’ve seen enough players with these characteristics excel regardless, that I’m willing to suspend disbelief and hope for the best. Here’s to hoping the Wade comparisons were accurate. There’s a guy who’s skillset doesn’t really add up to how dominating of an offensive player he was.
    I really don’t think there will be any issue with Rondo though. We didn’t draft a playmaker. What this pick might affect is the Bradley situation. Ainge now has a replacement ready to take over. If that scares Bradley into taking a bit less money than he hoped for, that’s great! No one’s gonna be able to bring the ball up the court for 48 minutes against us. which is sweet.