Marcus Smart is using the NBA Summer League to work on a different aspect of his basketball career.
Smart officially is a restricted free agent and remains unsigned as of Wednesday morning. But the (former?) Boston Celtics guard met with four teams over the last two days, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported Tuesday, and it appears the Brooklyn Nets are among those clubs.
The Athletic’s Michael Scotto shared a photo Tuesday of Smart and his agent, Happy Walters, having a conversation with Nets general manager Sean Marks on Monday in Las Vegas while the Celtics played the Charlotte Hornets in Summer League action. Walters later confirmed the meeting to the Boston Herald.
Brooklyn may have a tough time signing Smart if it indeed has interest in the 24-year-old guard, however. The team has approximately $10.5 million in cap space it can spend on Smart, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, and while Smart reportedly is open to making less than $15 million annually, he previously has said he’s seeking a contract in the $12 million to $14 million range.
The Celtics would have two days to match the Nets’ offer sheet to Smart, and it’s reasonable to assume they would do so at $10.5 million, even if it pushes them into the luxury tax.
Smart also seemingly wouldn’t fit into Brooklyn’s long-term plans, as the team appears to be clearing cap space to create two maximum-salary slots in 2019.
What seems more likely is that the former No. 6 overall pick (reluctantly) signs Boston’s $6 million qualifying offer for the 2018-19 season and take his chances in 2019 free agency, where he could receive better offers from teams with more cap room.
Thumbnail photo via Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports Images