Common knowledge in the NBA says big men take time to develop. Over the past few years, however, the same has been true for point guards as well.
Paul Flannery over at SB Nation touches on this in his recent article breaking down the crazy trade deadline a few days ago.
Point guards also take several years to develop, which has consequentially led several of them to sign some of the best deals in the sport. Stephen Curry and Jeff Teague, for example, needed all of their rookie contract to develop their skills and become All-Stars. By that point they were already locked in to team-friendly contract extensions. It’s that third contract that makes teams think twice.
Who would have thought when he was drafted that Curry would be an MVP candidate this quickly, if at all? Teague didn't appear to be much of a priority for Atlanta two years ago, but now he's an All-Star and a major cog on a Hawks team that sits atop the Eastern Conference and is challenging the Golden State Warriors for most wins this year.
There are a couple other examples of this that Flannery doesn't mention. Kyle Lowry bounced around the league and didn't really hit his stride until he landed in Toronto, where he is now leading a team that is one of the best squads in the NBA. Mike Conley wasn't known for much more than being best friends with Greg Oden when he was drafted, but he has steadily progressed to the point where it would be difficult to leave him off of a list of top-10 point guards.
This is all relevant for Boston, which selected Marcus Smart sixth overall in the past draft. There has already been chatter among some in the fan base that the Celtics "don't have any superstars" or are "a team of role players." How could anyone even pretend to know that about Smart or even James Young? They are 20 years old and 19 years old respectively. The vast majority of the roster is young. A player who may seem like nothing now, could turn into something very special in a few years.
This in no way means that Smart or any other Celtic is destined to be a superstar. Any or all of them could just as easily flame out. But the team is committed to Smart and the youth movement, so it's best to just take a deep breath and let's see how all of this shakes out. No one knows what's really going to happen. The Celtics could already have much of what they need to compete again for Banner 18. Only time will tell.
Photo credit: Getty Images Eric Blaisdell 2/22/2015 07:47:00 PM Tweet Edit