You’d think that would make for an easy negotiation, but it appears that’s not so.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge and the Celtics reportedly haven’t even reached out to the fiery guard since free agency opened July 1, according to The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy, citing sources.
The Celtics offered Smart — a restricted free agent — a qualifying offer, and it long has been suspected they would go back to the negotiating table and try to ink him to a long term deal.
But according to the source, the C’s haven’t even reached out.
“He loves the Celtics, but with these crickets he’s hearing, he’s hurt and disgusted by it,” said Murphy’s source.
Such news contradicts a recent report from RealGM’s Keith Smith, which indicated the two sides have had good dialogue, but neither are in any rush to get a deal done with the current free-agent market quiet.
Ever since he was drafted by the Celtics, Smart has been a fan favorite for his tenacious style of play. He underwent thumb surgery toward the end of the regular season and came back in time for the end of the Celtics’ first-round playoff series.
Given the fact he’s laid it all on the line for Boston, it appears he’s appalled at the lack of any action or communication whatsoever.
“It’s like Isaiah (Thomas) last year, Marcus has played through injury,” Murphy’s source said. “He pushed himself to return early (from thumb surgery) in the playoffs, taking the gamble that he was healed enough to play. He pours his heart out every day for that team. He’s been hurt and quite frankly disgusted by how this has gone. But you know what else? He’s kind of over it. You have to move on.”
If this is, in fact, how Smart feels, it will be interesting to see how the process plays out from here. The Celtics wasted no time re-signing center Aron Baynes, and bringing Smart back is a no-brainer, especially with the love he’s expressed for the team and city and what he brings off the bench.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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