Avery Johnson suggests Boston Celtics replace Marcus Smart with 2020 NBA Draft first-round PG

Avery Johnson suggested the Boston Celtics trade for this 2020 first-round point guard Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Avery Johnson suggested the Boston Celtics trade for this 2020 first-round point guard Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

According to retired NBA/college basketball coach-turned-analyst Avery Johnson, the Boston Celtics are not in good hands with Marcus Smart in the driver’s seat of the offense. Speaking on CBS Sports HQ, Johnson suggested that the Cs trade for 2020 first-round draft pick (No. 13 overall) and current New Orleans Pelicans point guard Kira Lewis Jr. and shift Smart to a position other than point guard.

The Alabama alum has exclusively been a reserve guard in his career down on the Bayou, so Johnson’s justification for replacing the C’s incumbent starting floor general–who, in his first season playing point guard, won the Defensive Player of the Year award–with someone at the position who has never started a game at the NBA level is baffling.

Baffling until you realize that the endorsement was made by the former Crimson Tide coach about a man he recruited to Tuscaloosa.

This was Johnson’s Smart slander/Lewis Jr. trade suggestion:

"“When you look at the Boston Celtics, especially with Marcus Smart being their full time point guard, he’s more of a combo guard who can play the 2 spot, he can play the 3 spot. When they have to lean on him as heavily as they leaned on him…I don’t think that’s good in terms of them reaching their fullest potential. So I would suggest a guy like Kira Lewis…”"

Okay, before we go on, the Houdini must ask: what reality is Avery Johnson living in? How in the world is a 21-year-old point guard, who as Johnson points out is recovering from an ACL tear this past December, the answer for a position in which the current starter has him more than doubled in assists per game for their careers?

This was an unfathomably shameless plug. A team that fell short two games of an NBA Championship would never consider handing the keys of the offense to a reserve coming off major surgery.

Anyway, his explanation added context, but still fails to justify such a bold claim:

"“Marcus Smart is more like a fastball, Kira is more like a curveball, speedy young player that can get up and down the floor. They need a little bit more of, somebody that can offset Marcus Smart’s weaknesses…”"

Before we continue, it has to be pointed out that saying that any of Smart’s weaknesses could be offset by a player with a track record such as Lewis Jr.’s is simply disrespectful and almost requiring an apology to the eight-year Cs veteran.

Point made. Let’s continue recapping this crazy conjecture:

"“Kira can drive to the basket, penetrate, he’s got a nice 3-point shot. I just think he can provide the speed and hustle to Marcus Smart’s hustle…”"

Johnson really went out and hyped the six-foot-one guard’s 3-point shooting — which topped out at 36% during Lewis Jr.’s second season at Alabama under Johnson’s head coaching predecessor, Nate Oats. Thus far at the pro level, he’s averaging 29.8% from beyond the arc.

By no means is Lewis Jr. a slouch. He could very well find the right system and excel one day. The Meridianville, Alabama product blossomed under Oats enough to become a first-round draft selection just two years ago.

This was a case of homerism from Lewis Jr.’s former head coach that was unfair to the third-year pro, though.

The Boston Celtics nabbed a different point guard from Alabama in 2022 NBA Draft pick JD Davison

JD Davison was not the success story under Nate Oats’ guidance that Kira Lewis Jr. was. Davison’s stock plummeted after a freshman season unbefitting of a 5-star label bestowed upon him in high school in 2021-22.

Luckily, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and co. didn’t let him sneak through the cracks and got a steal in the 2022 NBA Draft’s second round.

Next. CP says Marcus Smart and Derrick White trades must happen. dark