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The Boston Celtics were one of the big winners of last night’s NBA draft, selecting Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State with the 6th overall selection, and James Young of Kentucky with the 17th.
Team President, Danny Ainge, had been interested in drafting Smart for months, according to The Boston Globe.
Smart is a tough point guard with an NBA-ready body and is said to be a natural leader. Smart is leaving Oklahoma State after his sophomore season in which he led the Cowboys in both points (17.8) and assists (4.7). On top of that, Smart, who is an ideal height for a point guard standing 6’4, was also second on the team in rebounds, grabbing nearly six per game.
Current Celtic point guard, Rajon Rondo, has been rumored to be on his way out of Boston. The Celtics picking Smart should be all the proof that Rondo needs that his services are no longer wanted at TD Garden.
The Celtics then further improved their backcourt when James Young dropped to the 17th overall pick. Young is a sharpshooter who looked like Kentucky’s best player at times during their NCAA tournament run to the championship game.
The Celtics have been in rebuilding mode since their blockbuster trade last summer sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn. The team's only premier player remaining is Rondo, and with him seemingly on the way out, Smart and Young will get plenty of opportunities to prove they can be the Celtic’s backcourt for years to come.
The Celtics had stretches this past season when they just couldn’t manage to score, which resulted in them winning just 25 games. Because of that, the Celtics acquired two guys that score in different ways. Smart is a bulldog who can get into the lane and finish around the basket, and Young is primarily a shooter but is adept at cutting and finishing on the move.
What is most important is that Celtic’s second year head coach, Brad Stevens, is very pleased with his team’s picks, that according to The Boston Herald.
It will certainly take a while for Smart and Young to progress to a point where they can make the Celtics relevant again. However, Celtic fans should be pleased in knowing the moody Rondo is on the way out, and in his place they have a tough-minded point guard with leadership skills in Marcus Smart.