Marcus Smart has been a key piece for the Boston Celtics over the past few years and is set to hit free agency this offseason. While there will be a big market for his services, it sounds like his preference would be to remain with the Celtics.
He was asked about staying in Boston in a recent interview with ESPN and what he said will make Celtics’ fans happy.
“To be honest, I do. I haven’t really put too much thought into the offseason free-agency thing. My No. 1 focus is on my family right now. I got a lot of stuff going on with my mom. She needs all the positive thinking.”
Recent reports have connected the Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets, and Indiana Pacers as three teams that are expected to show interest in Smart this offseason. Other rumors have stated that Danny Ainge likely won’t be willing to give Smart the kind of money that he is expected to want. All of that being said, Smart sounds like he is sold on the direction that the Celtics are heading and wants to be a part of it.
During the 2017-18 NBA season with the Celtics, Smart ended up averaging 10.2 points and 4.8 assists per game. He shot just 36.7 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 30.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Smart’s offensive game obviously needs some work, but the hard-nosed defense that he brings to the court is what makes him valuable.
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) June 19, 2018
Standing in at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Smart is a very rare guard that can defend multiple positions, while also bullying his way to the rim on the offensive end of the court.
Boston would likely love to have Smart back moving forward. They have a great starting lineup, but there are still questions about their depth. Smart is capable of leading the way off the bench for the second unit and bringing much-needed energy.
At 24-years-old, it will be very interesting to see what Smart decides to do this offseason. Many players entering their first chance at free agency would be looking for a major pay raise. Smart might end up going that route, but for now, it sounds like he wants to stick with the team that drafted him No. 6 overall back in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Expect to hear plenty of rumors surround Smart when free agency opens on July 1. He is going to receive interest from quite a few teams looking for a quality combo-guard, but Boston has to feel good about their chances to re-sign him after his comments.