Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart appears to be at a standstill in his search for a new contract.
The 24-year-old restricted free agent has not been able to come to terms on a new contract with the Celtics and hasn’t yet been able to work out an offer sheet with a rival team that would force Boston to match it or let him walk.
The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett provided an update Thursday on Smart’s contract situation, and it’s possible we might not see a conclusion to this saga in the near future.
“Sources indicate this may drag on for quite a while,” Bulpett wrote. “Smart determined his worth to be more than what is out there in this summer’s market, and the Celts are in no rush to bid against themselves.
“It’s unclear now even if the club is willing to revisit their extension offer from last fall reported in the Herald last week (four years at more than $12 million per) whether that would even work for Smart now.”
Smart reportedly is willing to sign for less than $15 million per season, but so far no team has been willing to sign him to an offer sheet in the range he’s looking for. The issue for Smart is very few teams entered this summer with extra salary cap space, and the amount of teams with that space on July 12 — nearly two weeks into free agency — is even smaller.
The 2014 first-round pick is a valuable player, but he’s not the type that typically signs for huge money. His value is hard to quantify because many of his hustle plays don’t show up in the stat sheet, but it’s undeniable that the Celtics are a better team, particularly on defense, when he’s on the floor.
Smart could always sign his one-year, $6 million qualifying offer and return to the market next summer with more power as an unrestricted free agent. But that would be a risk, as next summer’s class likely will be loaded with several better players than Smart.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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