As the losing continues for the Boston Celtics — four consecutive, eight of their last 11 games — one NBA analyst is shifting his focus to the Celtics’ offseason and is calling for drastic changes.
Former 2008 Celtics champion, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins says it’s time for Boston to part ways with veteran guard Marcus Smart.
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Kendrick Perkins: ‘Marcus Smart Has Ran His Course’
Following the Celtics’ loss against the Miami Heat, Perkins — prior to Boston’s second loss against the Heat — called for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to make a move.
“I think something drastic needs to happen and it’s not firing Brad Stevens,” Perkins said on NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics Pregame Live, Tuesday night. “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.”
Smart is revered for making big plays in clutch moments on defense. But, Marcus has also been a scapegoat for Boston when things aren’t going well, especially on the offensive end.
While Smart is averaging a pair of turnovers — a subtle spike in contrast to last season (1.7) per game — this season, he’s also increased his field-goal shooting percentage (39.8%) while decreasing his 3-point attempts (5.9) in 2020-21 compared to the 37.5% clip and 6.6 attempts he averaged last season.
Kendrick Perkins Says Marcus Smart ‘Deflates’ Celtics
All in all, Perk still sees Marcus as one of the team’s underlying issues.
“Marcus Smart could be just a star in his role, and that means bringing the defensive intensity, diving on the floor for loose balls, those hustle plays on the other end, not trying to do so much,” Perkins said, per NBC Sports Boston. “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.”
Celtics’ Danny Ainge Weighs-In On Boston’s Upcoming Offseason
It should be a very interesting summer, to say the least. Ainge, during his weekly radio appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich, Thursday morning, was asked about the upcoming summer and potential changes Celtics fans should anticipate between now and then.
“I think that we will definitely be looking to make some changes in the offseason,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich. “And, obviously, I can’t go into any of those kinds of details. But yeah, there will be changes. How significant? I don’t know yet — we’ll see.”
Smart, 27, is averaging career-highs in points (13.1), assists (5.7), and blocks (0.5), this season. There is one year, worth $13.8 million, left on his current four-year deal for 2021-22 before Smart becomes an unrestricted free agent.