Life Without Marcus Smart, Life with New Big Three

Love and Trust Era

Nine years ago in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics had the #6 pick. They had no idea that a guard from Oklahoma State would embody what it means to be a Celtic. Nobody knew what type of player Marcus Smart could turn into, especially with his history at OSU. Without a doubt, all Celtics fans can agree that they all ended up loving and trusting Marcus.

Personally, Smart was instantly my favorite player. The way he hustled, put his body on the line and played with a fire was so much fun to watch. It has made this trade one thousand times harder to process. This in my opinion is the hardest pill in sports to swallow, watching your favorite player be traded. Like Marcus stated, goodbyes are hard, but the future is exciting.

New Big Man In Town

Putting the feelings aside and looking at it from a basketball perspective, Brad Stevens does it again. Not only landing front court depth in Kristaps Porzingis, but two first round picks. Brad ended up flipping that first into four future seconds and drafting Jordan Walsh. The quick reaction is to be upset because the heart and soul of the team is gone, but change was necessary. Almost everyone knew that one of the guards would be gone going into next season.

The addition of KP is going to do wonders for this teams spacing as well as the rim presence on the defensive end. He is coming off a career year, averaging 23.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2,7 APG, with shooting splits of 49.8%, 38.5% and 85.1%. Adding a 20 PPG scorer alongside Tatum and Brown, with his ability to space the floor and finish inside is going to be a huge boost for the already high powered offense.

Things that have been overlooked with KP is his ability to draw doubles and become a facilitator. Rob and Al are not as big nor do they draw the offensive attention that Kristaps draws which is why this adds a completely different dynamic to the team. He brings a different element to our bigs and as most of the fans saw our bigs struggle against that Miami zone, KP poses a huge threat in the middle of any zone.

Different Look Cs

Most Celtics fans are still figuring out life without Marcus and failing to realize how exciting this team is going to be. Not only is KP a great scorer, but he averaged 1.5 BPG and his size cannot go unnoticed. Adding that to a front court with a freak athlete in Robert Williams III and elite three point shooter Al Horford is a scary sight for the rest of the league. The lineups can be so dynamic and versatile and he can slide right into the four or the five.

The best starting five this team can put out is White Brown Tatum Porzingis and Rob. That lineup has the ability to still switch, have rim presence and space the floor. There are so many different options, including a double big, double guard and even a lineup that consists of five shooters on the floor. In an interview after the trade, Brad even hinted at a JB JT KP Al and Rob lineup which sounds absurd, but could be thrown out randomly in the regular season.

Looking Ahead to Free Agency

With one domino effect out the way, there are many interesting options for the C’s this summer, but I think it ends up being a quiet offseason. One of the main reasons this could easily be an option is because of the fact Brad talked about the importance of second round picks being dealt at the trade deadline. There really isn’t a huge issue with the roster, pending the decision on free agent Grant Williams. I think we watched the last of Grant in a Celtics uniform simply because of the new CBA rules it makes it difficult for them to afford him and Brogdon.

With Grant close to out the door, and Gallinari being dealt in the KP deal, this may be the year that Sam Hauser is given a bigger role. The backup forward position is the only weak link in this roster and with limited minutes because of the Jays, it already is going to be difficult for anyone to have a solid role. Most likely the wing depth will be a competition between Hauser and rookie Jordan Walsh, even though they are two completely different players. Walsh can easily be the Grant replacement once developed more, as well as having the same grit that the team is losing with Smart being dealt.

In a dream scenario in my opinion, two trades that the Celtics could make are sending Brogdon and 2 firsts to Atlanta for Dejounte Murray and then sending Grant in a sign and trade to the Mavericks for Tim Hardaway Jr. Like stated before, this obviously is a dream scenario but it seems like the Celtics will more than likely keep this core and see what they can add with any MLE’s or veteran minimums. Four potential options that are somewhat intriguing are Josh Okogie, Josh Richardson, Jeff Green and Patrick Beverley.

It is difficult to try and figure out what exactly Brad is going to do, but without a doubt, one thing that he has shown since taking over GM is simple. Trust him, he is going to do whatever he can to put this team in the best position to compete for a title and go for banner 18.

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