If you’re a Boston Celtics fan hoping to see Marcus Smart in green for at least one more season, you might be in luck.
If you’re Marcus Smart and you want, say, $12 to $14 million annually (who wouldn’t?), you might be out of luck.
Smart will be a restricted free agent this summer, and there’s reason to believe a return to Boston is the most likely scenario for the young point guard — even without the C’s having to match a potential contract from another team.
“Smart will meet with teams this summer,” wrote ESPN’s Bobby Marks earlier this week, “but could be hard-pressed to see offers north of $8.6 million.
“The guard is impacted by three factors: the lack of teams with cap space, depth at starting point guard and the finances of the Celtics in the future. Will another team invest $10 million to $12 million on a player to come off the bench?
“Maybe in 2016 when the cap spiked, but not two years later.”
Obviously, that’s not something Smart, who wasted no time expressing his contractual desires, wants to hear. It’s good news for the Celtics, though, as Marks says it wouldn’t be surprising to see Smart sign the $6 million qualifying offer before hitting the unrestricted free agent market next summer.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge certainly is on board with having Smart in the fold again next season — and potentially beyond.
“We need Marcus. Marcus is a good player,” Ainge said a couple of weeks ago on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “He provides a lot of energy for our team and I hope that we can work something out going forward.”
Even if they can’t come to terms on an extension, Ainge and the Celtics should take solace in their chances of getting Smart back for at least one season on very reasonable terms.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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