Why Marcus Smart Almost Turned Down Celtics’ Contract-Extension Offer

Smart was looking for at least $13 million more


Sep 29, 2021

Marcus Smart is locked into four more years with the Boston Celtics, but things got close to not reaching the finish line.

Smart this offseason signed a four-year contract extension with the Celtics that will kick in after the upcoming season. Barring a trade, he’ll be signed through the 2025-26 campaign, at which point he’ll be 32-years-old.

Ultimately, Smart’s extension will pay him roughly $77.1 million across the life of the contract. But with peers of his around the league getting nine-figure deals, he indicated that he was hoping for “at least” $90 million, he told The Athletic’s Jay King in an exclusive interview.

“For me, it was, I’ve gotta get paid,” Smart said to King. “I’ve gotta get mine. Everybody else in my position that I’ve dominated are getting theirs. And it’s like, I know I do way more than these guys. I’m on a better team as well. So it’s like, what’s going on? I was actually willing to go straight into free agency and go to the market.”

For a variety of reasons — familiarity with Boston, conversations with his family and so on — Smart ultimately decided it was best to take the offer he had from Boston, the only team he has played for since it drafted him in 2014.

So long as he continues playing well, it is not impossible for him to get another lucrative, long-term contract — in Boston or elsewhere — once free agency 2026 rolls around.

“I wanted to make sure I give myself a shot for another payday eventually by taking care of business on this one,” Smart told King. “So it was a business decision for me.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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