Celtics guard Marcus Smart is a restricted free agent and has yet to agree to a contract with Boston or sign an offer sheet with a rival team.
A report from NBC Sports Boston on Monday night said the Kings are preparing an offer for Smart after missing out on Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
Celtics fans who want the team to keep Smart will breathe a little easier after seeing what the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones reported on the situation early Tuesday morning.
A player like Smart, with his tremendous work ethic and defensive prowess, would be a great addition to a young an inexperienced Kings team, but giving him a lot of money — so much that the Celtics would decline to match the offer sheet — doesn’t really make sense for Sacramento.
The Kings aren’t close to being a real contender in a loaded Western Conference, and they could have a lot of young players up for big contracts in the near future. Smart is the type of player a team acquires as its final piece to a championship puzzle. The Kings are not in that situation.
The market hasn’t been kind to restricted free agents so far. Very few teams have salary cap space, which is hurting the best RFAs’ chances of getting a lucrative offer sheet. Smart and Houston Rockets center Clint Capela, arguably the two-best RFAs, have yet to sign an offer sheet with an opposing team.
Another option for Smith is to sign his one-year qualifying offer from the Celtics worth $6 million and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
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