Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

27-Year-Old GuardG
Boston Celtics
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The departure of Kemba Walker appeared to alter Marcus Smart's role with Boston, but then the C's added Dennis Schroder late in free agency. Now, heading into his eighth NBA season, Smart's role for 2021-22 is unclear. Will he slide over to become Boston's new starting point guard? Or will Schroder start at the point, allowing Smart to stay in his starting-wing-reserve-point-guard hybrid role which he has embraced the last few seasons? The latter situation seems more likely, though Smart is coming off a 2020-21 season in which he dished a career-high and team-best 5.7 assists per game. Smart as starting PG assumes Schroder returns to his off-the-bench, instant-offense role he had with OKC in 2019-20. Surprise sophomore point guard Payton Pritchard will also be part of the backcourt mix. The defensive-minded Smart has averaged 1.7 steals and 0.4 blocks per game over his past three seasons. He's the undisputed defensive leader for the C's and happy to guard bigger wings regardless of his offensive assignment. Smart's negatives include poor outside shooting and nagging injuries. Last season, he missed 19 games in February and March due to a calf injury and shot only 39.8 percent from the field. Overall, Smart seems likely to replicate his 2020-21 numbers in which he delivered career-highs in points (13.1) and assists, but struggled with his shot. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $77.1 million contract extension with the Celtics in August of 2021.
Personal Bio

Marcus Smart was born March 6, 1994 in Flower Mound, Texas, and is the youngest of four sons of Camellia Smart and Billy Frank Smart. Smart played competitive football until the sixth grade and enjoys playing tennis. During his college days at Oklahoma State, he was also a member of the 2014 USA Select Team that practiced against Team USA in preparation for the 2014 FIBA World Championship. Smart was also a member of the U19 Team USA squad that won the gold medal during the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships. During his professional career, Smart founded the YounGameChanger Foundation to, in the words of the foundation, "provide families with seriously and chronically ill children with encouragement and life-changing experiences and to be a voice of motivation, empowerment and encouragement to inner city young athletes to be game changers off the court or field." Learn more about the foundation and Smart's annual Bowling Bash at marcussmart.org. Follow Smart on Twitter @smart_MS3, on Instagram @youngamechanger and on Facebook @MarcusSmartOfficial.

College/International Summary

For two seasons, Marcus Smart was a fierce leader for Oklahoma State University. During his freshman year (2012-13) he earned a slew of awards. Smart received the Itegris Wayman Tisdale Award, presented by the USBWA to the nation's top freshman. He was named a Second Team All-American, Sporting News' National Freshman of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year among many other accolades. His 99 steals tied the OSU single-season record. Overall, Smart delivered 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.0 steals across 34 minutes per game. He would deliver similar stats his sophomore season -- 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals in 32.7 minutes per game. He was named to both the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team. During both of Smart's seasons at OSU, the Cowboys would qualify for the NCAA Tournament and lose in the second round.

Unavailable Friday
GBoston Celtics
Suspension
October 14, 2021
Smart has been suspended for Friday's preseason game against the Heat, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Smart recently broke a team rule and will be held out of Friday's preseason finale as a result. However, he resolved the matter with the team and should be available for Wednesday's regular-season opener against the Knicks.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

The 2020-21 season marked Smart's seventh season in the Association, all with the Boston Celtics. He began the season with 17 starts in Boston's first 18 games. On Jan. 20, MAH-cus (as the late, great Tommy Heinsohn would call him) scored a season-high 25 points, plus added four assists and four boards, in a loss at Philadelphia. A calf injury suffered on Jan. 30th versus the Clippers sidelined Smart through the All-Star break. Smart returned just after the break on Mar. 11 with 19 points and two assists in a loss at Brooklyn. On Mar. 25, the defensive stalwart drained a season-best seven three-points and posted 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists in a home win over the Bucks. On Apr. 30, Smart dished a career-best 12 assists during a home win over the Spurs. Smart ended the regular season with averages of a 13.1 points, 5.7 assists, 1.9 three-pointers, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks over 32.9 minutes per game. His points, assists and minutes per game were all career highs. Smart started all five of Boston's playoff games and delivered 17.8 points and 6.0 assists per post-season game against the Nets.

2019

Smart's sixth NBA season was his best yet in terms of playing time and offensive production. He started 40 of his 60 appearances during the pandemic-shortened campaign, in the process setting a host of career highs: 32.0 minutes per game, 12.9 points per game, 4.9 assists, 2.3 made threes, 0.5 blocks and an 83.6 free-throw percentage. Smart excelled in the hustle stats, finishing 12th in the NBA with 3.2 deflections per game, and he paced the Celtics in both assists and steals (1.7 per game, just shy of his career high). On Jan. 18 against the Suns, Smart set a new personal best with 37 points -- thanks in large part to a career-high 11 made threes. His 22 long-range attempts in that game tied for the fourth-most in NBA history, and his 11 makes tied for seventh in league history. On Mar. 3 against the Nets, Smart double-doubled with 14 points, 10 assists, six boards two steals and two blocks. He double-doubled twice more during the regular season -- once with 10 assists, once with 10 rebounds. Smart went on to start 16 of Boston's 17 playoff games, delivering 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.4 three-pointers over 38.1 minutes per contest. In Game 6 of the second round against Toronto, Smart posted his first career postseason triple-double -- racking up 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Aug. 9. He added another double-double in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami, collecting 10 points and 11 assists.

2018

Smart had an unusual season from a statistical standpoint in 2018-19. He played in the most games of his career (80), starting a career-high 60 of those, yet he averaged fewer minutes than in either of the prior two seasons. As a result, despite Smart undergoing a major shooting renaissance with a 42.2 field-goal percentage and 36.4 percent three-point percentage -- both easily career highs -- he averaged 8.9 points per game, a four-year personal low, due to a relative lack of offensive opportunities. That said, Smart's superior defensive skills finally gained recognition after he finished third in the NBA with a career-high 143 steals (1.8 per game). That work ultimately got Smart named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Smart scored a season-high 21 points three times. In perhaps the best of those efforts, he added seven assists, five steals and two blocks in a Jan. 28 win over the Nets. He posted a double-double Nov. 9 against Utah, notching 13 points and 10 assists. With two games left in the regular season, Smart suffered a thumb injury that required surgery, forcing him to miss most of the playoffs. He returned for the Celtics' final two games of their second-round loss to the Bucks, averaging 1.5 steals despite playing low minutes off the bench.

2017

Injuries derailed Smart's fourth season in the NBA, as he managed to play in only 54 games (11 starts). When healthy, the tenacious guard was again an effective defender (1.3 steals per game), a complementary scorer (10.2 points per game) and a growing distributor (4.8 assists per game, a new career high). Of course, the box score has never accurately portrayed Smart's value to the Celtics. Coach Brad Stevens has come to rely on Smart's ability to defend multiple positions while serving as the primary backup at point guard. On Nov. 27, Smart scored a season-high 23 points in a loss to the Pistons, adding six assists. In late January, Smart suffered a hand abrasion that forced him to miss 11 games. Then, on Mar. 16, he tore a ligament in his right thumb, causing him to miss the rest of the season and four playoff games. Upon his return, though, Smart received plenty of run in the playoffs filling in for the injured Kyrie Irving. In Game 2 of the Celtics' second-round series against Philadelphia, he posted 19 points; he also put up a pair of nine-assist games. All told, Smart averaged 9.8 points, 5.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals across 15 playoff games (four starts).

2016

Smart's third NBA season saw him crack a double-digit scoring average for the first time. He put up 10.6 points per game, accompanied by career-high averages in assists (4.6) and steals (1.6), along with 3.9 rebounds per contest. He ranked 12th in the NBA in total thefts with 125. Smart also shot a career-high 81.2 percent from the free-throw line, continuing his trend of improving on that front. Not coincidentally, 2016-17 was the healthiest season of Smart's career, as he appeared in 79 games (24 starts). The Oklahoma State product was the ultimate sixth man for Boston, backing up not only Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley in the backcourt, but also Jae Crowder at small forward. Smart double-doubled Nov. 11 against the Knicks with 12 points and 10 assists. Smart notched a season-high 22 points against the Pelicans on Jan. 7, adding five boards, six assists, two steals and a block. On Feb. 15 against the Sixers, he had his biggest game of the year, racking up 21 points and a career-high eight steals along with five rebounds, five assists and a block. Smart appeared in all 18 Boston playoff games during which the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals. For Game 3 in the ECF against the Cavaliers, he replaced an injured Thomas in the starting lineup. He responded with 27 points -- including 7-of-10 shooting from three-point range -- to help garner Boston's only win of that series.

2015

Smart overcame injury to ultimately appear in 61 games in the 2015-16 season. His sophomore season in The Association got off to a bumpy start when he dislocated two fingers on his right hand during Summer League play. The Oklahoma State product then missed 21 games -- including 18 in a row from Nov. 22 to Dec. 27 -- while recovering from a lower-leg injury. However, Smart went on to play in the Celtics' final 52 contests. He provided more scoring (9.1 points per game) and rebounding (4.2 per game) than he had in his rookie season despite starting just 10 times in 61 games after making 38 starts in 2014-15. It helped that he improved his free-throw shooting significantly, upgrading his subpar 64.6 percent rate as a rookie to a more-than-respectable 77.7 percent this time around. Smart also remained a major asset on the defensive end, racking up 1.5 steals per game (good for 26th in the NBA) for the second straight season. On Jan. 15 against Portland, Smart racked up 10 points along with 11 rebounds and 11 assists (both career bests) for his first NBA triple-double. A month and a half later, he notched his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. He also set a new career high for single-game scoring with 26 points, reaching that mark in two separate games.

2014

After being selected sixth in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma State, Smart played a significant role for the Celtics as a rookie. He appeared in 67 games, starting 38 times and averaging 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 27.0 minutes. Smart made an instant impact on the defensive end in particular, recording four steals in his NBA debut Oct. 29 against Brooklyn. He went on to record 27 multi-steal games, nabbing a season-high five on two occasions. Smart also contributed 23 games with double-digit points, clearing the 20-point plateau on two occasions. In his biggest game of the year, Mar. 18 against the Thunder, Smart stuffed the stat line with a season-high 25 points along with nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Though his 36.7 field-goal percentage left room for improvement, Smart shot 33.5 percent from three-point range while averaging 1.4 threes per game. He was named Rookie of the Month in February and ultimately made the All-Rookie Second Team. Come playoff time, Smart started three of the Celtics' four games in their first-round loss to Cleveland, averaging 9.8 points on much-improved 48.3 percent shooting across 22.5 minutes per game.

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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Smart improved across the board in 2019-20, posting career highs in points, assists, three-pointers and blocks per game. Expect that trend to continue with Gordon Hayward leaving for Charlotte. Hayward's departure leaves the door wide open for Smart to be a regular starter for Boston -- a role he filled during Hayward's various past injuries. Unfortunately, many of Smart's best attributes don't aid fantasy managers. Smart can defend positions one through four and is the emotional leader of the squad. Alas, none of that helps with his shooting woes. Smart shot 37.5 percent from the field in 2019-20. On the positive, Smart shot a career-best 83.6 percent from the charity stripe and drained 2.3 triples per game over a career-best 32.0 minutes per contest. The minutes will again be there for Boston's best defender, and it's not out of the question Smart returns to the 42.2 percent shooting accuracy he displayed in 2018-19. Combine improved shooting with two-plus steals-and-blocks per game, and Smart will be a late-round steal.
Smart comes into the new season with more clarity in the Celtics' backcourt than he's had in three seasons. With Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier no longer on the roster, Smart has a strong opportunity to start at the two-guard next to Kemba Walker. Known for his nagging defense, Smart recorded a career-high 2.0 combined blocks/steals per game in 2018-19 and finished third in the NBA in total steals en route to his first All-Defensive Team selection. He's recorded at least 1.7 combined blocks/steals in all five seasons in his career, and it's fair to expect that level of production to continue in 2019-20. Though Smart produced a four-year low in points (8.9), he improved his efficiency tremendously with career highs in field goal percentage (42.2) and three-point percentage (36.4). Smart has also averaged 3.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds in his career, and those numbers could see a bump in 2019-20 without Irving and Rozier. The defensive production should remain elite this season, but Smart's true value lies in his ability to continue improving his shooting.
After a lengthy restricted free agency stand-off, Smart and his feisty defense are staying in Boston. The versatile defender signed a four-year contract in July to stay with the team that drafted him sixth overall back in 2014. While Boston retained its most versatile defender, Smart's return further complicates what was already going to be a logjam in the backcourt and on the wing. Smart can play the point, shooting guard or small forward, but opportunities at all three positions will be hotly contested. At point guard, Boston expects a full -season out of Kyrie Irving, after losing him in March to a knee injury. While Irving was out, Terry Rozier, who's set to hit free agency next summer, proved worthy of starter's minutes. Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum will each command significant roles on the wing, so it seems inevitable that Smart’s minutes will take a bit of a dip in 2018-19. The hope is that Smart will finally demonstrate some meaningful improvement as a jump-shooter, though at this point that may be wishful thinking. The four-year veteran is shooting 36 percent from the field for his career, with few indications of improvement. Poor shooting aside, Smart led Boston in steals per game last season, as well as assists per minute.
Over Smart’s first three years in the Association, no one has ever questioned his defensive ferocity. The problem is his shooting. It was assumed that Smart would improve from the 37 percent effort that occurred his rookie season. Unfortunately, Smart’s shooting has actually gotten worse. After struggling to shoot 35 percent during his sophomore season, Smart posted a meager 36 percent in 2016-17. Still, Coach Brad Stevens continued to stress Smart’s game changing defensive plays, increasing his floor time to 30.0 minutes per game in 2016-17. The guard’s 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 threes made per game (last year’s stats) certainly make his poor shooting more tolerable. And with Avery Bradley now in Detroit, Smart has the opportunity to battle Jaylen Brown for the starting shooting guard spot. Smart currently sits atop the shooting guard depth chart due to seniority, but much can change throughout the preseason. Coach Stevens likes going small with Smart off the bench, asking Smart to shut down opposing small forwards. Stevens would lose that defensive bench flexibility with Smart in the starting lineup. With Jae Crowder now in Cleveland, expect Smart’s defensive shutdown assignments to increase. Either as a starter or sixth man, expect Smart’s minutes to stay the course. And expect similar shooting woes, too.
After an up-and-down rookie season, Smart followed up with much of the same in 2015-16. The former lottery pick struggled mightily as a shooter, converting just 34.8 percent of his attempts from the field and a horrific 25.3 percent from three-point land. Even so, his tenacious defense and relentless attacking ability kept him firmly in coach Brad Stevens' deep rotation, when healthy. Smart missed 21 games, including 18 in a row from Nov. 22 to Dec. 27 while recovering from a lower-leg injury, but played in the Celtics' final 52 contests. Smart began the year as a starter but played exclusively off the bench after returning from injury. His role wasn't greatly impacted, however, as he saw at least 20 minutes in every game after Dec. 31. The 22-year-old remains a foundational piece in a still-developing Celtics backcourt, but he simply must improve his shooting efficiency to mount a serious challenge to Avery Bradley for the starting shooting guard spot. With Evan Turner now in Portland, Smart projects to serve as the Celtics' versatile sixth man, vacillating between both guard spots depending on need.
As a rookie in 2014-15, Smart struggled through Achilles and ankle injuries to play in 67 games, averaging 7.8 points, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.4 three-pointers per game. When available, Smart and Avery Bradley made for a lethal defensive backcourt, giving head coach Brad Stevens lots of opportunities to frustrate opponents, but Smart struggled offensively, shooting only 37 percent from the field, 34 percent from three land, and 65 percent from the free-throw line. The Celtics would clearly like to improve on Smart's 27 minutes per game, but that will be difficult with 2015 first-round picks Terry Rozier and R. J. Hunter also needing backcourt minutes to develop. Plus, the C's desperately need Isaiah Thomas' scoring. Evan Turner also proved last year that he can play both backcourt positions. Smart's aggressive defensive style leads to injuries, as demonstrated by the two fingers he dislocated during the Las Vegas Summer League. GM Danny Ainge's constant collecting of assets will eventually result in a trade that will shuffle the roster, which could further improve Smart's opportunities to play. Smart, the sixth pick of the 2014 draft, clearly has loads of potential. But there are too many obstacles in his path to predict a breakout sophomore season.
Smart is viewed as a combo guard with a primary focus as a point guard. If the Celtics drafted him to be a shooting guard, he'll need to improve in one significant area – his shooting. The sixth-overall pick in the draft shot just 29 percent during the summer league. While he managed to make 42 percent of his shots at Oklahoma State, much of that was due to Smart's ability to get to the rim. He made just 28 percent of his jump shots in the half-court offense. Smart is well-built and uses his body to create opportunities for himself, particularly on the drive. He averaged more than eight free-throw attempts per game for the Cowboys last season. Smart's also considered one of the top perimeter defenders coming out of college this year, a trait that pleases coach Brad Stevens. The coach has talked about establishing a "defensive DNA" for his team, and Smart fits that profile. He now joins a Celtics team that's got an elite point guard in Rajon Rondo and just signed its shooting guard, Avery Bradley, to a four-year contract. Initially, it looks like Smart will back up both guard spots. However, there's potential for an increased role later in the season, particularly if Boston trades Rondo, who is in the final year of his contract before hitting unrestricted free agency.
More Fantasy News
Won't play Wednesday
GBoston Celtics
Rest
October 12, 2021
Smart is out for Wednesday's game against the Magic due to rest.
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Agrees to max contract extension
GBoston Celtics
August 16, 2021
Smart agreed to a four-year, $77.1 million max contract extension with the Celtics on Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Perimeter game goes missing in loss
GBoston Celtics
June 1, 2021
Smart totaled 14 points (5-17 FG, 1-10 3Pt, 3-4 FT), seven rebounds, four assists and one block in 39 minutes during Tuesday's 123-109 loss to Brooklyn.
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Stuffs stat sheet despite loss
GBoston Celtics
May 30, 2021
Smart registered 16 points (4-12 FG, 2-9 3Pt, 6-7 FT), nine assists, six rebounds and two steals across 34 minutes in Sunday's loss to the Nets.
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Posts 23 points in win
GBoston Celtics
May 28, 2021
Smart registered 23 points (8-11 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six assists, three rebounds and a steal across 39 minutes in Friday's win over the Nets.
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