Since the 2018 NBA free agency started, Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart is yet to secure a new contract. Smart’s rumored frustration with the Celtics’ lack of serious contact with him in free agency created the speculations about his potential departure in Boston. However, Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge already made it clear that re-signing the veteran point guard is one of their top priorities this offseason.
When the 2017-18 NBA season ended for the Celtics, Marcus Smart was reportedly demanding a contract worth $12-14 million per year in which Boston was hesitant to give at first. However, recently, reports started to circulate that the Celtics are now willing to give Smart the contract he thinks he deserves. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Celtics and Smart’s agent, Happy Walters, are currently engaged in a contract negotiation that could potentially give the 24-year-old point guard a four-year deal worth $46-50 million.
“Celtics GM Danny Ainge and Happy Walters, the agent for restricted free agent guard Marcus Smart, are now seriously engaged in contract talks, league sources tell ESPN. Potential deal range is in the four-year, $46M-$50M range, sources tell ESPN. Talks ongoing.”
In 54 games he played last season, Marcus Smart averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 steals on 36.7 percent shooting from the field and 30.1 percent from beyond the arc. His numbers may not be as impressive as other players on his team, but Smart’s ability to defend multiple positions has played a major role in the Celtics’ success in the last four years. Jaylen Brown, one of the players who is pushing for Smart’s return in Boston, told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that the veteran point guard’s contribution with the team is “second to none.”
Here's the latest on the Marcus Smart situation. https://t.co/mTnM4uJULf— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 18, 2018
Celtics General Danny Ainge feels the same way as Brown about Smart. Despite the rumored dispute between both parties, the Celtics see Smart as part of their long-term plan. Mark Murphy of Boston Herald revealed that the Celtics have offered the former sixth overall pick a four-year contract extension worth $50 million last October. Unfortunately, Smart decided to reject the offer, believing he could get a better deal when he hits the free agency market.
However, as of now, it seems like Smart’s camp has dropped their expectations and is willing to sign a deal similar to what the Celtics offered him last year. It will only be a matter of time before Smart inks a new contract with the Celtics.