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Boston Celtics draft prospects: Marcus Smart shows leadership

Tarik Black #25 of the Kansas Jayhawks and Marcus Smart #33 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys battle for a rebound during the Big 12 Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game at Sprint Center on March 13, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics have the sixth and seventeenth picks in Thursday night’s NBA draft. If they actually keep their picks, one of the players believed to be on the Celtic’s radar is guard Marcus Smart. Many things can change by the time the Celtics make their selection, but according to a report by on Wednesday, Smart believes he would be a good choice selection for the Celtics.

Smart's confidence comes after working out for the team for a second time. The Celtics like a few players in the draft, but leadership is an aspect of Smart’s game that could set him apart from other players. He certainly caught the attention of head coach Brad Stevens.

After Smart’s workout two weeks ago, Stevens said, “I thought he was good. I thought he was physical. I thought he was a leader. I thought he shot the ball well in drills. I think that clearly, he’s got a way about him that people follow. He is a very tough guy and competed the whole time. My expectations for him were high from that regard, but he certainly met them.”

With All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo already in place, drafting Smart would mean less playing minutes than he would have for a team without a true starting point guard. Smart doesn’t seem to mind playing behind Rondo. He is more focused on proving just what kind of competitor he is, especially after showing glimpses of immaturity during his final year with Oklahoma State.

Smart said of his performance, “Everybody knew what kind of competitor I was. But for those on this coaching staff that didn’t know for sure, I just came out and proved that even more, and just proved that I can play at the next level.”

As far as playing with Rondo, Smart has already called him “one of the greatest point guards to ever play this game,” and feels he can learn a lot from the Celtics captain. If somehow Rondo is traded, Smart could be a player the teams looks to as a replacement. But if Rondo remains with the team, the Celtics have other priorities they can fill at that No. 6 spot, if they actually keep it. If Smart somehow slips to the middle of the round, then the Celtics may consider him even with Rondo in place.

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