To say the 2020-21 Boston Celtics has been a disappointment would be an understatement. Their inconsistency has led to them entering Tuesday night seventh in the Eastern Conference standings and on the verge of having to participate in the play-in tournament.
So what needs to change?
Some will say it’s the head coach who needs to go, but Kendrick Perkins has other ideas. The former Celtics big man believes Marcus Smart’s days as a Celtic could be numbered.
“I think something drastic needs to happen and it’s not firing Brad Stevens,” Perkins said Tuesday on Celtics Pregame Live. “I think that Marcus Smart has ran his course. I think guys are tired of hearing his voice in the locker room. I think guys are tired of his ill-advised shot taking at times, some of his turnovers that he has.
“If Marcus Smart could be just a star in his role, and that means bringing that defensive intensity, diving on the floor for loose balls, those hustle plays on the other end, not trying to do so much. You can see it in people’s body language, when he tries to do too much it deflates the team. So I do think the Celtics need to look into moving Marcus Smart this summer, to be honest with you. I think it’s ran its course.”
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated says the C’s looking to trade Smart wouldn’t be anything new. He also echoes what Perkins had to say about Smart’s questionable decision-making wearing on teammates.
“The Celtics have looked to move Marcus Smart for several years,” Mannix said. “One of the reasons they signed him to that contract was that he could be the centerpiece of a deal that might bring you Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, he could be the contractual piece of that puzzle.
“I agree with Perk that Smart’s shooting habits and his sometimes scattered-shot play, it grates on teammates in the locker room. It’s done that for years, for sure. Marcus has been that type of guy, this year it might’ve gone to another level. I would say this, though. In 2018, that Celtics team didn’t like each other. That was not a team with good chemistry. I don’t get the sense that this Celtics team doesn’t like each other. I think they’re maddeningly unconsistent, but I don’t think there are any chemistry issues in the locker room that neccesitate that type of deal.”
Smart is the longest-tenured Celtic having been on the team since 2014. In 47 games this season, Smart has averaged 13.1 points, 5.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals.