Joe Mazzulla drops eye-opening take on Celtics’ PG plans after Marcus Smart trade

Mary Raleigh
01/08/2023

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla is turning to Derrick White to replace Marcus Smart as the team’s starting PG.Celtics' Joe Mazzulla on Marcus Smart trade: 'I just told him I loved him'  - masslive.com

The Boston Celtics took one of the biggest swings this offseason when they traded away longtime floor general Marcus Smart in a three-team deal that netted them Kristaps Porzingis. While Porzingis would undoubtedly improve the team given his offensive versatility and rim protection, Smart’s departure leaves the starting point guard job up for grabs. But if head coach Joe Mazzulla’s words are any indication, a training camp battle to determine who the starting one would be may not be necessary after all.

Per Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Mazzulla has named Derrick White as his starting point guard even with around two months to go before training camp begins.Celtics' Joe Mazzulla on Marcus Smart as point guard: 'I trust him  completely' - masslive.com

“Derrick (White) will be our starting point guard and he will be one of our starting guards,” Mazzulla said.

Nevertheless, given the weapons the Celtics have all over the roster, don’t expect them to stick to certain units or personnel for longer than is necessary. Joe Mazzulla intends to maximize the players he has at his disposal so they could battle inconsistencies as well as shapeshift depending on the opposition.Where Celtics' Joe Mazzulla Feels Marcus Smart Can Find Playoff Fuel

“I think we’ll have the ability, with the current team, to play both big and small, and bounce back from that. And we’ll just do whatever fits our roster, whatever makes the most sense on both ends of the floor. But we have some versatility and we’re able to go to that and I’m kind of looking forward to playing with that versatility,” Mazzulla added.Celtics' Marcus Smart seeing 'X-ray vision,' thriving as Boston's point  guard - masslive.com

Derrick White should excel as Marcus Smart’s replacement anyway, as White should be able to replicate Smart’s lockdown defensive ways and timely shot-making in spades. Thus, the Celtics, as painful as it was for their fans to see Smart go, should remain one of the best teams in the league for the 2023-24 campaign.

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