The Boston Celtics were emboldened to trade three-time All-Defensive First Team point guard Marcus Smart because of the presence of Derrick White in the backcourt, says CelticsBlog’s Wayne Spooney.
“Derrick White proved he could function as the point guard of the Celtics,” Spooney prefaced before saying, “And those whispers became louder. Is Derrick White better than Marcus Smart? That question is, frankly, almost impossible to answer, and really depends on the types of things you personally value in a basketball player. Unquestionably, Brad Stevens didn’t answer that question when traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis, but he did answer a question. Do we still need Marcus Smart if we have Derrick White?
“Brad stood up, grabbed his novelty megaphone and announced to the world, ‘no, no we do not.’ The Derrick White trade may just end up as Brad Stevens’ most important transaction, and it is only partially due to Derrick White. Yes, White is very good, but not only that, for the first time in his career, Marcus Smart became expendable.”
Derrick White the biggest winner of the Boston Celtics’ trade of Marcus Smart
White undoubtedly won the Smart trade, with the inheriting of the starting point guard position serving as just a portion of the overall winnings. Kristaps Porzingis is the kind of weapon that if used correctly, could raise the assist totals of every Celtic, and the fact that Malcolm Brogdon was nearly traded for Porzingis first makes White’s primary backup a future flight risk. Or reoccurring trade candidate.
When you combine Payton Pritchard’s previous trade request, you have a backcourt with question marks everywhere. Everywhere except in the first five at the floor general spot; one White has complete control of as of this moment.
It’s unclear what Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens will do to fortify the PG spot, but White is why the executive felt comfortable enough to trade for a third All-Star in his twenties using the team’s former Defensive Player of the Year, and heart and soul of the Celtics since 2014.