Michael Perez/Associated Press
Even with Smart coming aboard, it’s only fair to assume that Rajon Rondo will retain the starting 1 spot.
For all of Smart’s athleticism and potential, he isn’t nearly as polished as Rondo, who is going into a contract year and has every reason to play his hardest.
Rondo averaged 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 9.8 assists in 30 games last season after returning from ACL surgery.
He shot just 40.3 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from three-point range but showed enough flashes of pre-injury Rondo to inspire hope in the beleaguered Boston fans.
But what if Rondo gets traded?
Obviously, it’s a possibility, but according to Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com, Ainge wants to go forward with Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics still need frontcourt talent, but Rondo will have two more dynamic athletes to run the floor with in Smart and Young.
Rondo proved in 2013-14 that he can keep his numbers impressive with subpar teammates, but Boston’s offense struggled overall.
The C’s were 26th in the league in points per game at 96.2 and 22nd in assists at 21 per game.
They’ll be better next year with improvements from Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, but Boston projects to be a middle-of-the-pack offensive squad yet again.
Reserves: Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey
Smart will likely log a lot of his minutes at the 2, but don’t expect him to start over Avery Bradley if Bradley is retained.
Smart is a liability as a shooter (29.5 percent from three at Oklahoma State) and needs to make major strides in that department.
However, his athleticism and ability to break down the defense guarantee him minutes from day one.
As a sophomore, Smart averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists while dealing with more criticism than perhaps any other college player.
Standing 6’4”, Smart will have a size advantage over most point guards in the league and will be able to use his frame to bully smaller perimeter players.
The odd man out here is Phil Pressey, who emerged as a decent backup for the Celtics down the stretch.
He’s the furthest thing from a scoring threat, but Pressey has excellent court vision and can get into the teeth of a defense consistently.
Pressey averaged 2.8 points and 3.2 assists last season but upped those numbers to 8.2 points and 7.2 dimes in 11 starts.
Already 23 years old, Pressey doesn’t have the upside of Smart, but he certainly deserves a few minutes given his handle and pick-and-roll prowess.
Pressey should see spot minutes when Boston goes small but not much more than that.