Marcus Smart is an excellent defender, capable of guarding all three perimeter positions. He’s also over his head as a lead guard offensively, and his clunky 3-pointer is limiting. Between Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and maybe even Terry Rozier, the Celtics have higher priorities. But Smart still brings plenty of helpful production.
All of this is to say valuing Smart is difficult.
He says Boston isn’t even trying to do so in contract-extension negotiations.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
If the Celtics don’t extend him by the Oct. 16 deadline, he’d become a restricted free agent next summer. It’s not as if they’re at risk of losing him.
That delay could last until closer to the start of the regular season or all the way until next offseason. It wouldn’t be surprising if Boston offers him an extension in the next week. I wouldn’t even rule out discussions already occurring but Smart minimizing them in attempt to rally support and gain leverage.
The Celtics could face a sizable luxury-tax bill next season depending on Smart’s contract and other moves. There’s no rush to pay him, but it would be a little odd if they’re not even checking whether he’d lock into a moderate salary now in exchange for security.