Marcus Smart is coming back to the Boston Celtics.
The restricted free agent guard has agreed to a four-year contract worth $52 million to remain with the C’s, keeping the team’s backcourt and bench depth strong.
Here’s an updated overview of what the Celtics roster looks like now that Smart is back in the fold.
The additions of a healthy Irving and Hayward give the Celtics a starting five only rivaled by the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Everyone except Irving can defend multiple positions, giving head coach Brad Stevens maximum versatility on defense, especially when switching pick-and-rolls. Hayward’s ability to not only score 20-plus points per game and hit 3-pointers but also be a primary ball-handler should help alleviate some pressure on Irving. Tatum and Brown’s development benefited from Hayward’s absence last season, and they ranked first and second on the team, respectively, in playoff scoring. Even if these young stars get fewer shots with Hayward returning, the quality of the looks they do get should improve.
Terry Rozier, PG
Marcus Smart, PG/SG/SF
Marcus Morris, SF/PF
Aron Baynes, C
Rozier did as well as could be expected as the starting point guard for an injured Irving during the playoffs. He rarely turned the ball over and provided consistent scoring. Morris added toughness and much-needed bench scoring, and he also stepped up in the playoffs with 12.6 points scored per game and a 41.6-percent mark from long distance. Baynes also provided toughness and solid interior defense, most notably against Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid in the conference semifinals. Baynes re-signed on a team-friendly deal earlier this month.
Smart’s value goes well beyond the box score. His hustle plays keep possessions alive and force turnovers, and he’s also capable of being a primary ballhandler and providing bench scoring.
Other Bench Players
Guerschon Yabusele, PF/SF
Abdel Nader, SG/SF
Brad Wanamaker, PG
Robert Williams, PF/C (rookie)
Daniel Theis, C
Williams and Wanamaker probably are the best bets to make an impact. Williams, the 27th overall pick in the 2017 draft, can give the Celtics athleticism and shot-blocking in the paint — something they’ve lacked for several years. Wanamaker is a 6-foot-4 guard with good playmaking ability. Yabusele and Nader need to show they can play defense or their only minutes might come during blowouts.
Shane Larkin, PG
Greg Monroe, C
Bringing in Wanamaker and drafting Williams probably sealed Larkin’s and Monroe’s fate. It’s hard to imagine either one returning.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images