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The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard

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The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#1 » by greenroom31 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:28 pm

Having suffered through half the season, it's super clear to me that this team's biggest issue by far is lack of a true PG. Jayson and Jaylen are forced to not just score but also create for other players, which they are still learning how to do well. The other guys aren't great shooters to start with, but it's made worse by the fact that we don't have a PG to set the table for them and run real plays. This especially kills us at crunch time/in the 4th quarter, and is part of the reason we've been so bad in those situations. Just asking for "more ball movement" is not enough.

The lack of a true PG is our most glaring issue and adding one could help us in a major way and put everyone in the right place so to speak. And a quick note for those who want to defend Smart/Schroder/Pritchard -- Smart is a great 6th man/defensive role player, but he is playing off the ball the majority of the time. He's too careless with the ball. Schroder is ball dominant and has a score-first mentality. Pritchard is really more of an undersized SG, or at least he's used that way.

Ok, now on to the point of this thread: let's do Brad's job and find who we could realistically acquire to fill this role. First, a list of some possible/quasi-realistic targets that we could get without moving Brown or Tatum (who I FIRMLY believe are not the issue):

Rotational Guys:
-Tyus Jones (Memphis) / 1 year, $8.4M
-Jalen Brunson (Dallas) / 1 year, $1.8M
-Cam Payne (Phoenix) / 3 years, $19M
-Patrick Beverly (Minnesota) / 1 year, $14.3M
-Goran Dragic (Toronto) / 1 year, $19.4M
-Coby White (Chicago) / 3 years, $13M, last year is qualifying offer at $10M
-Cory Joseph (Detroit) / 2 years, $12.5M, last year is player option

Potential Starters:
-Josh Hart (New Orleans) / 3 years, $38M deal, last year is player option
-Devonte Graham (New Orleans) / 4 years, $47M
-De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento) / 5 years, $163M (would love Haliburton but I think it would take Jaylen or Tatum)
-Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana) / 4 years, $89M
-Spencer Dinwiddie (Washington) / 3 years, $54M
-D'Angelo Russell (Minnesota) / 2 years, $61M
-Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia) / 4 years, $16M (rookie deal with team option year 3, qualifying year 4)
-Eric Bledsoe (Clippers) / 2 years, $37.5M
-Reggie Jackson (Clippers) / 2 years, $21.6M

High-Risk/Unknown Upside:
-John Wall (Houston) / 2 years, $92M, last year is player option that he is DEFINITELY taking
-CJ McCollum (Phoenix) / 3 years, $100M (I know he's not a PG but we could give it a shot, and Portland may be desperate to make a change)
-Ben Simmons (Philadelphia) / 4 years, $147M (would have to take Harris too, but putting it out there for discussion)
-Russell Westbrook (Lakers) / 2 years, $91M, last year is player option that he is DEFINITELY taking

Next post I will dig into each of these groups and talk about some guys I'd like to target and what possible trades might look like. Would love to hear your thoughts on this list and also if I left anyone out who should be in here! Mods: I know there's already a trade thread but I feel this is a very specific and focused thread on our most important need vs. every team and every rumor, so hopefully we can keep this one separate.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#2 » by Larry_Russell » Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:38 pm

I am not completely sold that we have to have a PG

Smart has been doing quite well when he actually is at the PG spot as opposed to player SG beside Schroder

Yeah, he is shooting poorly, but when he is the PG he focuses far more on driving the lane (and he is finishing) and moving the ball. Cannot really complain about that when you have a team with 2 25+ppg scorers and a center who loves to move the ball.

I believe we are far better served with a wing who can shoot and pass. McColum, Hayward, BRogdon would be perfect.
Tatum is a PF Horford is a C
Young guys Need time
Smart and Schroder= dumb
Isolation plays are NOT A VIABLE OFFENSE
Stop running your stars into the ground.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#3 » by Fantaxp7 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:00 pm

Larry_Russell wrote:I am not completely sold that we have to have a PG

Smart has been doing quite well when he actually is at the PG spot as opposed to player SG beside Schroder

Yeah, he is shooting poorly, but when he is the PG he focuses far more on driving the lane (and he is finishing) and moving the ball. Cannot really complain about that when you have a team with 2 25+ppg scorers and a center who loves to move the ball.

I believe we are far better served with a wing who can shoot and pass. McColum, Hayward, BRogdon would be perfect.


He is doing well for who he is and how he has played in the past, but I don't think he is doing good enough. In others words, good not great. If we had a great pass first point guard (non-all star ball hog type like in past) I think it really elevates the team.

There are times he still makes bone headed passes that get picked off, the ball stops at him when he should do more to get the ball to Brown in the corner, and compound this with his off shooting and lack of awareness when he's off...it really can hurt us. He will usually "make up for it" with hustle plays but after the damage is done.

I am a Smart fan and I want him here, I just want him off the bench in a sixth man or backup point guard even type role. I don't know how he stays if we do pursue more talent....
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#4 » by Larry_Russell » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:09 pm

Fantaxp7 wrote:
Larry_Russell wrote:I am not completely sold that we have to have a PG

Smart has been doing quite well when he actually is at the PG spot as opposed to player SG beside Schroder

Yeah, he is shooting poorly, but when he is the PG he focuses far more on driving the lane (and he is finishing) and moving the ball. Cannot really complain about that when you have a team with 2 25+ppg scorers and a center who loves to move the ball.

I believe we are far better served with a wing who can shoot and pass. McColum, Hayward, BRogdon would be perfect.


He is doing well for who he is and how he has played in the past, but I don't think he is doing good enough. In others words, good not great. If we had a great pass first point guard (non-all star ball hog type like in past) I think it really elevates the team.

There are times he still makes bone headed passes that get picked off, the ball stops at him when he should do more to get the ball to Brown in the corner, and compound this with his off shooting and lack of awareness when he's off...it really can hurt us. He will usually "make up for it" with hustle plays but after the damage is done.

I am a Smart fan and I want him here, I just want him off the bench in a sixth man or backup point guard even type role. I don't know how he stays if we do pursue more talent....



I guess my thing is that the production from the rest of the team is so low/down that I have a hard time pinning it on smart.

Horford has been garbage for us as an old/slow power forward as opposed to a center like he should be. Under 30% from 3? Terrible
Romeo and nesmith have been nothing offensively
Schroder takes care of schroder with no spacing.

For example, if we traded Horford and Schroder for McCollum and Roco (Portland fans really like it as they want to move Nurkic as they view Horford as a clear upgrade at center) then now our spacing is dramatically improved. What would smart look like then as a PG when he has 3 guys with him who "should" be hitting 37-40+% from 3.
Tatum is a PF Horford is a C
Young guys Need time
Smart and Schroder= dumb
Isolation plays are NOT A VIABLE OFFENSE
Stop running your stars into the ground.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#5 » by Celts17Pride » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:26 pm

I personally think there is a decent chance the Celtics might end up with De'Aaron Fox. I'm not in love with the player but I think there is a chance.

If I was the Kings front office I would look to move Fox, Bagley, Hield and Barnes for as much of a rebuilding package as I could get and start building the team around Haliburton and Mitchell. Kings are going nowhere.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#6 » by Fantaxp7 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:32 pm

Larry_Russell wrote:
Fantaxp7 wrote:
Larry_Russell wrote:I am not completely sold that we have to have a PG

Smart has been doing quite well when he actually is at the PG spot as opposed to player SG beside Schroder

Yeah, he is shooting poorly, but when he is the PG he focuses far more on driving the lane (and he is finishing) and moving the ball. Cannot really complain about that when you have a team with 2 25+ppg scorers and a center who loves to move the ball.

I believe we are far better served with a wing who can shoot and pass. McColum, Hayward, BRogdon would be perfect.


He is doing well for who he is and how he has played in the past, but I don't think he is doing good enough. In others words, good not great. If we had a great pass first point guard (non-all star ball hog type like in past) I think it really elevates the team.

There are times he still makes bone headed passes that get picked off, the ball stops at him when he should do more to get the ball to Brown in the corner, and compound this with his off shooting and lack of awareness when he's off...it really can hurt us. He will usually "make up for it" with hustle plays but after the damage is done.

I am a Smart fan and I want him here, I just want him off the bench in a sixth man or backup point guard even type role. I don't know how he stays if we do pursue more talent....



I guess my thing is that the production from the rest of the team is so low/down that I have a hard time pinning it on smart.

Horford has been garbage for us as an old/slow power forward as opposed to a center like he should be. Under 30% from 3? Terrible
Romeo and nesmith have been nothing offensively
Schroder takes care of schroder with no spacing.

For example, if we traded Horford and Schroder for McCollum and Roco (Portland fans really like it as they want to move Nurkic as they view Horford as a clear upgrade at center) then now our spacing is dramatically improved. What would smart look like then as a PG when he has 3 guys with him who "should" be hitting 37-40+% from 3.


Yes agree with that. We need shooting and upgrading Horford would be great too. I am hoping that if some how we turn things around Horford could be rested and used in the play offs and maybe look how he did at the beginning of the season. Still not a long term solution.

PG and some players who can shoot I think will have biggest impact...but I agree a Horford upgrade would be nice...I just don't see it as the biggest weakness. If he can show up to play against Embiid and Giannis he is still very valuable.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#7 » by WeLikeOurGuys » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:51 pm

A legit PG would do wonders for this team. Just look at Kawhi and PG, they struggled in the playoffs without a floor commander.
We just don't have a guy on the roster that can get us into a set and get an easy basket. I would like to see Rob take that next step and become a Draymond Green type of player.

True PG/PP
Smart/Nesmith/Romeo
Brown/Richardson/ Romeo
Tatum/Grant
RW/Horford

This should be the rotation when we get a real PG.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#8 » by greenroom31 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:57 pm

I fully agree that we need more than just a PG -- shooting is top on the list following PG for me. My point is that by adding a true PG we may solve (or improve) other areas. For example: I bet Jaylen and Jayson get more efficient, and that some of the other wings start shooting a better percentage due to better looks. Just look at Phoenix as an example of a team that went from fringe playoffs to true contenders thanks to adding a real PG. Phoenix went from 10th place (34-39) to 2nd place (51-21).

Also, this isn't a knock on Smart so much as it is recognizing what he is. Just watch the games for proof -- he rarely initiates the offense or brings the ball up. There's a reason for that. So going back to the original point of the thread and starting with the first group of "Rotational Guys":

-Tyus Jones (Memphis) / 1 year, $8.4M
-Jalen Brunson (Dallas) / 1 year, $1.8M
-Cam Payne (Phoenix) / 3 years, $19M
-Patrick Beverly (Minnesota) / 1 year, $14.3M
-Goran Dragic (Toronto) / 1 year, $19.4M
-Coby White (Chicago) / 3 years, $13M, last year is qualifying offer at $10M
-Cory Joseph (Detroit) / 2 years, $12.5M, last year is player option

I'd focus on Tyus Jones, Goran Dragic and Coby White out of this group. Dragic seems headed for Miami or another bonafide contender, so is unlikely, but I could see either Memphis or Chicago trying to improve their rosters for a hopeful playoff run and being open to move Tyus and Coby respectively.

If Chicago re-signs LaVine as they presumably will, going forward that leaves Coby White behind Lonzo and LaVine, fighting with Caruso, Dosunmu and others for backup minutes. Would they do Schroder straight up for White? Or we could add Kanter for more depth at C? Or a 2nd rounder as well? Maybe take back Troy Brown to save them a little loot?

For Memphis we could offer something similar. Schroder may not be enough for them though, given how well Tyus has been playing and how well Memphis is rolling at the moment. Think we might need to either add a prospect (Romeo?) cheap big man (Kanter?) and/or 2nd round picks? Still might not get them to move. If we offered Smart they'd be all over it but then we'd need more back and I'm not sure they get there.

Thoughts on Coby White or Tyus Jones? Or any of the other Rotational Guys?
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#9 » by return2glory » Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:00 pm

Yam.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#10 » by Jammer » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:57 pm

Problem is the pickings are slim right now. They missed their chance because when they could get someone, they would have been in the luxury tax.

I am still of the opinion that for this offense to run optimally, they need a PG who is highly efficient from 3 point range, pull-ups, and with the speed and strenth for a blow by with a finish (and make) at the rim with the size to defend. That's Jrue Holiday, but he's not available. Ja Morant can do that, he's not available. Kyrie is a headcase. Young Derrick Rose could do it, but he only passed when he had no place else to go. His assists were often bail outs of drives with no where to go. Steph Curry and LaMelo are not available. Chris Paul is committed to Phoenix, Damian Lilliard will be 32 this summer and at his ridiculous salary and undersized height future breakdown from heavy wear and tear would make me back off him considering how much of the salary cap he'd eat.

If Dragic were willing to play out his contract and not get bought out, and is able to play close to his 2021 season self, he'd be an improvement over anything that the Celtics currently have. Dragic can attack the rim and make shots with a game on the line.

Haliburton would be great but would not give up Tatum or Brown, would hope for something more like Nesmith + 2 1rsts.

Dinwiddie is probably closer to Marcus Smart then we'd like to admit, despite the defense that Dinwiddie brings with his superior size. Rubio would have been an improvement if he didn't get injured.

I don't think that your four high risk guys are worth the amount of cap space that they consume (Wall, Westbrook (not a team guy anyway), Simmons and McCollum is not a PG).

As a ball player, Hart is world's better than Smart (as a shooter, rebounder and tough defender since he's about 1.5 inches taller than Smart), but not someone to take the ball down the throat of a defense. More like a wing with some PG skills on the perimeter.

Brogdan's got the skills but not the quicks I like in a PG.

From those you list (and trade cost and salary cap hit are factors), I like (not in this order):

Tyrese Haliburton
Spencer Dinwiddie
Goran Dragic
Malcom Brogdan
Josh Hart

Rating the above 5 against Smart, and using 2021 stats for Dragic, who is praying for a buyout:

Assists per Game
6.9 Tyrese Haliburton
6.1 Malcolm Brogdan
5.6 Spencer Dinwiddie
5.3 Marcus Smart
4.4 Goran Dragic
4.4 Josh Hart

Shooting Efficiency (factors in 2's and 3's)
57% Josh Hart
56% Tyrese Haliburton
51% Malcolm Brogdan
51% Goran Dragic
46% Spencer Dinwiddie
46% Marcus Smart

Points Per Shot (factors in free throws)
1.423 Josh Hart
1.267 Malcolm Brogdan
1.243 Tyrese Haliburton
1.211 Goran Dragic
1.160 Spencer Dinwiddie
1.131 Marcus Smart

Rebounds
7.4 Josh Hart
5.3 Malcom Brogdan
4.8 Spencer Dinwiddie
4.0 Marcus Smart
3.9 Tyrese Haliburton
3.4 Goran Dragic

Turnovers
1.7 Spencer Dinwiddie
2.0 Josh Hart
2.0 Marcus Smart
2.2 Malcom Brogdan
2.2 Tyrese Haliburton
2.4 Goran Dragic
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#11 » by threrf23 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:31 pm

Especially if we are keeping both Jays, I think Pritch works just fine as a Derek Fisher-ish PG, would rather see us upgrade our front court.

That said, I agree that the team ideally needs a worthy, established alpha leader that the rest of the team respects and looks up to as their established leader. That's not Smart, not sure if Tatum gets there, and if he does I'm not sure if teammates respond to him in that light. Horf doesn't have the energy.

But most of the PGs we're talking about aren't going to be that guy, either.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#12 » by CelticFaninLBC » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:41 pm

As others have stated, there's not many viable options out there and unfortunately Ainge whiffed on available playmakers over the past few years.

Per the top 40 in assists below, which also has 3 point%, turnovers and points, a few guys may be available for less than Jaylen Brown. Apparently, Coby White doesn't have enough games played,, but he may be a viable option.

If Boston had a center, who could shoot the 3, Smart could work at pg. However, one of Rob Williams or Smart needs to be dealt.

Rk Player AST▼ 3P% TOV PTS
1 Chris Paul 10 0.328 2.3 14 Not available
2 James Harden 9.7 0.331 4.8 22.4 Not available
3 Trae Young 9.6 0.37 4.1 28 Not available
4 Dejounte Murray 9 0.336 2.5 18.3 Probably need to trade Brown
5 Kyle Lowry 8.4 0.325 3.2 13.7 Not available
6 Russell Westbrook 8.2 0.298 4.5 19 Bad shooter, high turnovers
7 LaMelo Ball 7.8 0.381 3 19.3 Not available
8 Draymond Green 7.4 0.286 3.1 7.9 Not available
9 Damian Lillard 7.3 0.324 2.9 24 Need to trade Brown & more
10 Darius Garland 7.2 0.386 3.6 19.6 Not available
11 Nikola Jokić 7 0.355 3.6 25.8 Not available
12 Tyrese Haliburton 6.9 0.441 2.2 13.7 Probably need to trade Brown
13 D'Angelo Russell 6.9 0.345 2.6 18.7 Maybe??
14 Jrue Holiday 6.7 0.382 2.8 18.4 Not available
15 Fred VanVleet 6.7 0.409 2.7 22 Probably not available
16 LeBron James 6.6 0.372 3.3 28.9 Not available
17 Ricky Rubio 6.6 0.339 2.6 13.1 Out for the season
18 Bradley Beal 6.4 0.298 3.4 24 Doubtful until 2022-23
19 Josh Giddey 6.4 0.278 2.9 11.1 Probably need to trade Brown
20 Stephen Curry 6 0.387 3.4 26.8 Not available
21 Giannis Antetokounmpo 5.9 0.287 3.3 28.5 Not available
22 Kevin Durant 5.8 0.365 3.2 29.9 Not available
23 Jalen Brunson 5.6 0.336 1.7 16 Maybe, but 2022 UFA
24 Spencer Dinwiddie 5.6 0.331 1.7 13.1 No idea
25 Derrick White 5.5 0.294 1.6 14.5 Maybe??
26 Mike Conley 5.4 0.427 1.6 14 Not available
27 Marcus Smart 5.4 0.299 1.9 11.6 Already have him
28 Cade Cunningham 5.3 0.31 3.7 15.2 Not available
29 Donovan Mitchell 5.2 0.346 3 25.8 Not available
30 Lonzo Ball 5.1 0.418 2.3 12.9 Not available
31 De'Aaron Fox 5.1 0.248 2.8 20.9 Probably need to trade Brown
32 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 5.1 0.277 2.4 21.9 Probably need to trade Brown
33 Khris Middleton 5.1 0.375 3.1 18.8 Not available
34 Brandon Ingram 4.9 0.329 2.7 22.5 Probably need to trade Brown
35 Julius Randle 4.9 0.316 3.5 19.5 Probably need to trade Brown
36 DeMar DeRozan 4.7 0.352 2.1 26.4 Not available
37 Devin Booker 4.5 0.41 2.7 23.6 Not available
38 Devonte' Graham 4.5 0.36 1.6 14 Maybe??
39 Tyrese Maxey 4.5 0.38 1.3 16.8 Maybe??
40 Domantas Sabonis 4.5 0.323 3.1 19.3 Probably need to trade Brown
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#13 » by Jammer » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:16 am

CelticFaninLBC wrote:As others have stated, there's not many viable options out there and unfortunately Ainge whiffed on available playmakers over the past few years. ...

If Boston had a center, who could shoot the 3, Smart could work at pg.
However, one of Rob Williams or Smart needs to be dealt. ...


The team would be better off holding onto Rob and finding someone at PG who can nail 3's, nail pull-ups, blow by and finish at the rim (requires quicks), defend and distribute. That guy would have the GAME to be a LEADER at the end of games.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#14 » by BK_2020 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:46 am

WeLikeOurGuys wrote:A legit PG would do wonders for this team. Just look at Kawhi and PG, they struggled in the playoffs without a floor commander.

Kawhi and PG beat two really good teams in Dallas and Utah in the playoffs while putting up great stats. In the Utah series in particular Kawhi was putting up 30 on like 60% shooting.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#15 » by zoyathedestroya » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:54 am

If the problem is a lack of a true point guard, why list targets that... aren't true point guards?
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#16 » by gocelts » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:56 am

We have 3 point guards.

All it takes is good coach to tell them when to stop taking bad shots, take them out when they aren’t playing D, and coach them up….

Why everyone is giving Ime a pass on this and saying “we need a point guard” is sort of baffling.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#17 » by fallguy » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:59 am

Celts17Pride wrote:I personally think there is a decent chance the Celtics might end up with De'Aaron Fox. I'm not in love with the player but I think there is a chance.

If I was the Kings front office I would look to move Fox, Bagley, Hield and Barnes for as much of a rebuilding package as I could get and start building the team around Haliburton and Mitchell. Kings are going nowhere.


Yeah, this is the kind of big swing that might actually be available - and one that wouldn't cost Jaylen.

I'm pretty lukewarm on him -- it's a lot of upside and downside potential with that salary. But he's probably tradeable again for good value so it's intriguing. Problem is you can't play him and Smart together at all.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#18 » by BostonCouchGM » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:02 am

ooooh another we don't have a good point guard so let's salivate over guys not nearly as good as the PG on our bench Pritchard. Yippee!!

hE's tOo sMalL
hE's nOt a pLaYmaKeR
He cAn'T PEneTRatE
hE cAn'T dEfEnD
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#19 » by Fencer reregistered » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:11 am

I'm going to disagree with the whole premise here. (And with Cousy as well, who famously thought that Chauncey Billups would never be a championship PG.)

The Celtics are currently being coached to a Popovich/.5 system. No one distributor should or can control that.

And by the way, no recent repeat champion has been built around that kind of PG. No Phil Jackson team was built that way. That's not Popovich's model. That's not what Steph Curry does. It's not how the Heatles operated.
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Re: The Real Problem -- Lack of a True Point Guard 

Post#20 » by Triple7 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:16 am

Larry_Russell wrote:I am not completely sold that we have to have a PG

Smart has been doing quite well when he actually is at the PG spot as opposed to player SG beside Schroder

Yeah, he is shooting poorly, but when he is the PG he focuses far more on driving the lane (and he is finishing) and moving the ball. Cannot really complain about that when you have a team with 2 25+ppg scorers and a center who loves to move the ball.

I believe we are far better served with a wing who can shoot and pass. McColum, Hayward, BRogdon would be perfect.


Come on man! I know you really love Smart. It shows because i haven’t seen you include Smart in any of your trade scenarios lol. Seriously, Smart have been our weakness at the last 2mins of a close game, that other teams constantly takes advantage. His lack of shooting really kills us, apart from really head scratching decisions he’s made as a point guard. We are better off having a player inside that can shoot and score to finish games. We need a true point guard if we can find one, or get a decent shooting point guard. Smart should just go or be a 6th man. That should be his role.

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