Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart
26-Year-Old GuardG
Boston Celtics
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Celtics in July of 2018.
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.

Cleared of coronavirus
GBoston Celtics
March 29, 2020
Smart has been cleared from the coronavirus since Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Smart took to his personal Twitter account Sunday night to announce that he was cleared by the Massachusetts Department of Health on Friday. This is, of course, great news for Smart and the Celtics, but it remains very much unclear when we may see the defensive-minded guard on the court again.
Read More News
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Past Season Summaries
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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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2014
    Drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1st round (6th pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • July 5, 2014
    Signed a rookie two-year contract with the Boston Celtics. Contract includes club options for a third and fourth season.
  • July 19, 2018
    Signed, as a free agent, a four-year agreement with the Boston Celtics.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
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
Recovering well from coronavirus
GBoston Celtics
Illness
March 29, 2020
Celtics coach Brad Stevens relayed Friday that Smart (illness) is doing well following his positive test for the coronavirus a week earlier, Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com reports. "Great. He's great. Great spirits. Joking as always," Stevens said.
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Tests positive for COVID-19
GBoston Celtics
Illness
March 19, 2020
Smart revealed Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
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Goes for 29 points
GBoston Celtics
March 7, 2020
Smart went for 29 points (9-23 FG, 6-15 3Pt, 5-6 FT), three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 37 minutes during Friday's 99-94 loss against the Jazz.
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Scores 18 points in win
GBoston Celtics
March 4, 2020
Smart recorded 18 points (5-15 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 8-8 FT), two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 32 minutes in Wednesday's 112-106 win versus the Cavaliers.
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Posts double-double
GBoston Celtics
March 4, 2020
Smart registered 14 points (5-15 FG, 4-14 3Pt), 10 assists, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 36 minutes during Tuesday's 129-120 loss to the Nets.
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