BOSTON (AP) — The rebuilding Boston Celtics drafted guard Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State with the sixth pick of the NBA draft Thursday night.
The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Smart averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists as a sophomore last season. He can play both guard positions and could team up with point guard Rajon Rondo or make Rondo expendable in a trade. Rondo’s contract expires after the upcoming season.
The Celtics also have the 17th pick in the first round but none in the second.
Smart plays with a competitiveness and physical nature that NBA coaches covet. He’s a solid defender but needs work on his offensive game.
The Celtics are continuing to rebuild after going 25-57, the third-worst record in club history, in their first season under coach Brad Stevens.
Boston took Smart with its own first-round pick.
The 17th pick was one of three first-rounders obtained in July when the Celtics traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. They also have Brooklyn’s first-rounders in 2016 and 2018.
The Celtics have three first-rounders in 2015 — their own plus one obtained from the Los Angeles Clippers for allowing them to sign coach Doc Rivers before last season and another from Philadelphia.
Boston has a total of eight first-round picks over the next four years, giving them plenty of assets to build a young team or use some choices in trades for a veteran.