Boston Celtics: The future is bright

On Friday, the Boston Celtics signed Marcus Smart and James Young to their rookie contracts. Terms of their deals were not disclosed, per team policy, but with how the Celtics usually handle rookie contracts, we can assume the basics of the contracts. With respect to where each were drafted, we can assume each were signed for 4 years, with Smart starting at $3.28 million and Young starting at $1.67 million.

Marcus  Smart and James  Young

Marcus Smart and James Young

No surprises here. The organization has previously stated how excited they were when Smart and Young fell to them in the draft, and how they feel both Smart and Young are an integral part of the future of the Celtics. Smart and Young will be building blocks for this franchise, whether it is through a straight rebuild if the team decides to trade Rondo, or as potential trade chips themselves.

Smart will not be traded, but many are wondering if Young is available. Young sat out the Orlando Summer League due to injury, but it was rumored that he might be involved with a deal for Kevin Love. The signing should put an end to that rumor, at least for a short while. League rules prohibit draft picks from being traded within 30 days of signing with the team that drafted them. If Young was in any immediate trade talks, he isn’t anymore. And if the Celtics are going to trade for Kevin Love, they will need to do so quickly, now that LeBron James has moved to the Cavaliers and they are said to be working a deal out for Love.

Smart had a solid summer league. He started all five games, averaged 14.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 2.0 SPG. He also led the team in total points and assists. He does need to learn how to take care of the ball, considering he also averaged 1.8 TO per game.

If any conclusions can be drawn from the first five games of an NBA player’s career (summer league games no less), we can assume Smart is going to have a solid career. In Rondo’s first summer league, he also played five games and averaged 10.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.8 APG, 2.2 SPG, and 1.8 TO per game. That is more or less what Smart averaged and speaks to their respective strengths. Rondo is more the prototypical, pure, point guard. He is going to score a little less and hand out more assists. Smart is more of a combo guard, and when he plays/starts next to Rondo, Smart will be the shooting guard. If Smart can be more of a Westbrook-type, shoot-first guard, he should work very well with Rondo.

The jury is still out on Young, but I’m excited to see the shooting he will bring the Celtics. A Kevin Love trade is looking more and more like a pipe dream the longer the summer goes without a trade, and with the signing of Young, one of the Celtics most interesting prospects, we can safely assume that Love either plays out the year in Minnesota, or ends up in Cleveland.

Either way, the future of the Celtics is bright. And under contract for the next four years.