The Boston Celtics have some big decisions to make this summer. And while their players won’t be making those decisions, it’s inevitable they’ll be asked about them.
Marcus Smart was the latest Celtics player on the hot seat Tuesday. Speaking at his annual summer basketball camp for kids at Brandeis University, Smart was not-so-subtly asked what he thought of Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward.
“He’s an awesome player,” Smart told reporters in Waltham, Mass., via MassLive.com’s Jay King. “He’s a dude who understands the game really well — I think it’s because he had (Celtics head coach) Brad (Stevens) as a coach.
“Nah, I’m kidding. He’s incredible. He’s a great player, he’s a great guy, and I think I speak for a lot of guys in this league when I say that.”
Hayward of course, played under Stevens at Butler, which is part of the reason why he’s expected to be Boston’s top target when free agency begins July 1. But what should draw a player like Hayward to the Celtics? Smart gave his version of a free agent pitch when prompted Tuesday.
“First off, this fanbase is incredible,” Smart said. “The energy that they give off every night, night in and night out, is remarkable. And then playing under Brad … who’s understanding the game more and more. He’s learning, and he’s becoming one of the greatest coaches in this league. You’ve just got to love the things that he’s doing, and I think that everybody in the league understands that.
“They appreciate the work he puts in, and they see everything he’s been doing and accomplishing.”
The C’s obviously aren’t on the level of the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers, but their surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season suggests they’re getting closer. This summer will tell whether Boston does more to close the gap, so don’t expect these questions to go away anytime soon.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images