It’s looking more and more likely that Marcus Smart will be a member of the Boston Celtics next season.
That doesn’t mean the 24-year-old guard will be happy about it, however.
The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy recently reported that Smart is “hurt and disgusted” the Celtics haven’t approached him about a new contract. While that might be the case, Smart ultimately is prepared to sign Boston’s one-year, $6 million qualifying offer, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported Friday, citing a source.
“A source close to Smart said Friday that the 24-year-old guard is hurt by the Celtics’ lack of communication during free agency, and that he is ‘over it’ and prepared to ultimately sign a one-year qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next season if it comes to it,” Himmelsbach wrote.
“But league sources said the Celtics’ perceived lack of interest in contacting Smart was not indicative of any change in their view of the talented young guard. The Celtics and Smart’s camp remained apart on contract discussions, so the Celtics were essentially waiting for Smart to have talks with other teams and potentially sign an offer sheet that they would then almost certainly match. If this is a standoff, league sources said, the Celtics certainly do not view it that way.”
Smart reportedly has drawn significant interest around the NBA, albeit for a price tag in the neighborhood of $9 million annually — significantly lower than the value he has set for himself. But even if the Celtics shift course and offer Smart a multiyear contract, their relationship with the Oklahoma State product might be too far gone at this point.
“The source close to Smart said that as it stands, there is a ’95 percent chance’ that Smart will not sign a multi-year deal with the Celtics this summer, because he feels the franchise has turned its back on him in recent weeks.”
Obviously, there’s plenty of time for the Celtics to repair their relationship with Smart, who they selected sixth overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. If it’s true that Smart now holds contempt for Boston’s front office, then C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reportedly is “prepared” to mend fences.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that Smart’s representatives are posturing in an attempt to force Boston’s hand. Or perhaps this all is much ado about nothing.
Former Celtics assistant coach Walter McCarty, for one, seemingly sides with the latter.