New head coach Ime Udoka is a big fan of Smart, who under Brad Stevens’ guidance was often used as a sparkplug sixth man. That turned downward as Smart’s shot selection grew increasingly poor over the last few years.
It will take time to determine how the Celtics truly plan to use Smart. But on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, Udoka shed some light on how Smart might be used.
“We’re looking at a lot of different things,” Udoka said, via WEEI.com. “He’s obviously going to be called on to do a lot of things. But we haven’t finalized our roster all the way yet, so depending on what we do there we can go certain different ways. But we’ve talked to him a ton about it and made it clear we want him to take another step in his career. And by giving him that extension we have full faith in him.
“He has done great things. The age, and the toughness and the attitude he brings to the team is invaluable. For him to take another step is to have the ball in his hands more and be a playmaker and just be a great decision-maker for the guys. He realizes who he’s playing with and I think that will be a benefit with the new mentality that he has.”
What that new mentality is remains to be seen. However, the Celtics generally are a better team when Smart is available and doing what he does best.