With the rebuilding process in full motion and the Kevin Love rumors finally dying down, the Boston Celtics entered the 2014 NBA draft with high hopes for the future. Like every team, the Celtics hope that they hit big on their draft picks but unlike most other teams, Boston had two chances at hitting it big with picks 6 and 17 in the first round. The final decision was made, despite rumors of a trade with Sacramento and fans were left for better or worse to watch the Boston Celtics draft Marcus Smart and James Young with picks 6 and 17 respectively.
Smart is a 6’3” point guard out of Oklahoma State. Despite being better known for his recent conflict in which he shoved a fan that allegedly spewed a racist comment in his direction, Smart is a top end talent. Considered to be a top 5 pick last season, Smart decided to pass on the draft and return for another year in college to hone his abilities. In his extra season at Oklahoma State, Smart averaged 18 points points and 4.8 assists a game and was electric doing so.
A great player using the pick and role and in transition, Smart immediately looks to be a versatile backup point guard or athletic undersized 2 but he also raises questions of Rajon Rondo’s future in Boston.
The only real drawback in Smart’s game seems to be his perimeter shooting. In his time at Oklahoma State, Smart shot below 30% from behind the line, a particularly troublesome statistic for a guard entering the NBA. Smart likely will have to combat his lack of shooting in the short term by using his muscular 225 pound frame to muscle other point guards on the court as he attempts to develop a shot.
Young played just one season at Kentucky but showed three tremendous abilities: offensive talent, top end athleticism, and potential. The smooth left handed shooting guard averaged 14 points per game in his lone year at Kentucky and showed at times that he can truly fill up the points column. At only 18 years of age, Young is just that youthful! And with the 17th pick in the first round, likely has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft at that point.
The draft is a wonderful time for fans and athletes alike, however the career that these two players will have as members of the Celtics and the NBA is still very much up for grabs. One thing is for certain though, the future in Boston is young and bright.