The issue always comes down to "market".I have a question.
I hear that Smart should be in/was in to close out games. I witnessed it myself.
Down or up, Stevens seemed to want him in during the 4th.
That makes me think he is one of "the 5 best".
I get that his shooting sucks, but his defense and *intangibles are so good they seem to offset that.
If he is one of the "5 best", or at the very least you want him on that wall, need him on that wall in the 4th quarter with 5mins to play then dont you simply "want him". Especially for 12-13 million per?
All that said why couldnt he be a "starter"? I equate him a bit to Dennis Johnson on this team. A guy who makes big plays (mostly defensively) but chips in on offense.
If DJ was good enough to start back then wouldnt Smart be good enough now?
Granted you need Tatums, Browns and Kyries for the offensive load (like you needed Bird Mchales and Ainges).
All that said is Smart a "Starter level" player in the NBA? And if not then why is he considered at least a "Closer level" player.
Is it because we dont think he could keep up his "5 mins left in the 4th quarter" effort level for longer stretches of the game? Is it because he defers more to an alpha like Kyrie (Today) and Tatum (tomorrow) during that 4th quarter then he does the rest of the game?
I just cant wrap my head around the idea of him being "a closer" we want on the floor in the 4th (and by extension other important times) , and then being upset that he is making too much money (when its around 12 million).
I'm as big of a Marcus guy as you'll find, but it's not about "is this guy a top five player on our team?". It's not wrong to use that POV to put things in context, and I appreciate your take here. But in the end, defense-mostly guys tend to make much less money. That's the context which many of those questioning the price are considering.
I'm perfectly fine with the deal.