It took longer than expected, but Marcus Smart and the Boston Celtics eventually saw eye-to-eye.
Boston re-signed the restricted free agent to a reported four-year, $52 million contract Thursday, keeping the Oklahoma State product around for the foreseeable future.
Smart was an integral part of the past two Celtics teams that have reached the Eastern Conference finals, and the 24-year-old couldn’t be happier that he’s sticking with the squad that drafted him No. 6 overall in 2014.
“I’m ecstatic. This is a blessing. Never in a million years did I (think) I’d be able to play for the Boston Celtics,” Smart said Friday, via The Boston Globe. “Growing up watching them and the historic franchise they had and to be part of an organization that had a winning culture is something you’ll never forget and you’ll always remember.”
Smart is the Celtics’ best on-ball defender and is a crucial part of the bench unit. The 24-year-old also provides point guard insurance if Kyrie Irving or Terry Rozier suffer an injury during the season. Smart still needs to improve his offensive game, as he shot just 30.3 percent from the three-point line last season, but his energy and defense are something that Boston will need in order to reach the NBA Finals next season.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images