Rajon Rondo is injured, and unless he returns more quickly than expected, the Celtics need an opening-night point guard. The obvious candidates:
- Marcus Smart – No. 6 overall pick but still a rookie
- Phil Pressey – Signed with Boston as undrafted free agent last summer and played liked like it but still earned rotation role
- Avery Bradley – Has played point guard with Rondo out before, looks more comfortable at shooting guard
So who will get the job?
Maybe none of the obvious candidates.
The race to replace an injured Rajon Rondo in the Boston Celtics starting lineup is just beginning, but the early leader appears to be Evan Turner.
The 6-foot-7 Turner is firmly entrenched in the mix for the job, along with rookie Marcus Smart and second-year guard Phil Pressey.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has essentially ruled out Avery Bradley being called upon to fill the void that exists following Rondo’s broken left hand injury that could keep him out for as long as 10 weeks.
“I’m not planning on it,” Stevens said when asked about Bradley playing point guard.
Turner played some point guard with the Pacers last season, and he played the position with the 76ers before that. He has good playmaking skills for a wing, but they’re pretty underwhelming for a point guard. His size at the position adds a nice defensive wrinkle, though.
It’s a bit disappointing Smart isn’t leading this competition. It wouldn’t be a problem if the experienced Turner were better overall right now, but considering Smart has the advantage of competing at his natural position, I’d hope he could win the the job
Then again, maybe the Celtics just want to bring Smart along slowly. Plus, Turner getting reps at point guard should leave him with a more expanded skill set when he moves back to the wing.
This could be a good long-term play, one befitting of a tanking team.