There are times for players to talk about what they should be paid in free agency. After shooting 1-for-10 in a Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference finals, however, probably isn’t the best time.
But don’t tell that to Marcus Smart.
The Boston Celtics guard, like many of his teammates, had a woeful performance against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. Yet after the game, Smart, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason and reportedly is seeking $12-14 million annually, didn’t shy away from questions about his future.
“To be honest, I’m worth more than 12-14 million,” Smart told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “Just for the things I do on the court that don’t show up on the stat sheet. You don’t find guys like that. I always leave everything on the court, every game. Tell me how many other players can say that.”
The 24-year-old then was told that, despite his shooting struggles, his teammates consider him the “heart” of the team, per MacMullan.
“That’s what people say,” Smart was quoted as saying. “I’m not sure if you can put a price on that.”
With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward set to return next season, the Celtics enter the offseason with few holes and problems to solve. However, what they do (or don’t do) with Smart, as well as fellow guard Terry Rozier, will be a major storyline to follow.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images