With half the season in the books, I think it's been established that Marcus Smart needs to go.
Our offense, to put it frankly, is horrible for a #1 seed. Our defense is obviously spectacular, of which Marcus Smart is a major contributor, but the reality is that we're not currently championship material. If we can't hang up more than 87 points on the Nets like we did yesterday, then there's no way that we're going to be a threat in the playoffs to teams like GS or Cleveland.
To get this out of the way, we can all acknowledge that our offense will get better when Hayward returns, particularly because he'll reduce Morris' minutes, who has been another sore spot in our lackluster offense with his 40% shooting. And, I would be remiss to mention the fact we're starting a rookie and a sophomore, both of whom will continue to polish their offensive skills over time. We'll be better on offense next year, and by a significant margin I would bet. We'll also be giving the guys just another year to gel.
But those facts shouldn't get in the way of analyzing Smart. When you look at what he brings to the table, you really need to evaluate both sides of the court. The question is ultimately this: is what he gives you on defense worth what he takes away on offense?
The status all point to no. Smart isn't just "bad" on offense... he's a catastrophic failure. Saying he's terrible is putting it mildly... he's in the midst of one of the worst offensive seasons in NBA history, and the scary part is that he has been regressing every year since he entered the league. Think about that for a second. Is that the kind of trend you want to be millions of dollars on? His sole job has been to improve his shooting, and he's failed at that. He also showed up last year with an unhealthy amount of weight (major red flag, imo), and he hasn't shown the self awareness he needs to limit his shooting.
The reason he was told to launch the ball was so that he could improve his percentages over time. Unfortunately, that failed. This might really p--- some people off, but what I'm seeing right now are shades of Rondo and Jared Sullinger - guys who have ceased trending in the correct direction and who we'd likely be better off moving on from. If anyone is ambitious enough to check my comment history, I was absolutely CLAMORING for us to get away from those guys before we finally did. And once we traded Rondo (who had stopped trying to even compete), we got better. And once we let Sullinger go, he was out of the league in a season or two. Smart's in the same position. If any other team pays him I promise you he'll look very, very bad as he continues to chuck the ball without all of the team success to support the "winning plays" voodoo that seems to invigorate his defenders.
As of today, Marcus Smart is 304th out of 467 players in real plus minus, which is insane for a team that currently occupies the #1 seed. While RPM obvious has its flaws, its flaw is usually OVERRATING bad players on good teams. And it's supposed to be the catch-all stat that captures all of the "intangibles". Sadly, Smart is coming up short on all measurements.
I don't know how to say this any other way - Smart has blown it. If we resign him, we're going to hamper our offense to the point where I doubt we win a championship while he players more than 15 minutes a game. If we don't, I'd actually be willing to bet he's out of the league in a couple of years because he's just not an NBA-level talent on offense. At this point I wouldn't want him for any amount of money.