For a while, it looked like Marcus Smart could leave in free agency. Instead, the Celtics are reportedly nearing a long-term deal with the wing.
Smart has been a valuable piece for Brad Stevens’ team the last few years. He can defend positions 1-through-4, and can play the point on offense in a pinch.
Unfortunately for him, he hit a bearish market for players as a restricted free agent this year. Instead of taking a one-year deal, or something below market elsewhere, it sounds like the Celtics may lock up Smart for the foreseeable future.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Marcus Smart is negotiating a four-year deal with the Celtics.
Per Woj’s report, the deal is expected to be in the $46-$50 million range. That has to be seen as a big win for the Celtics.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge and Happy Walters, the agent for restricted free agent guard Marcus Smart, are now seriously engaged in contract talks, league sources tell ESPN. Potential deal range is in the four-year, $46M-$50M range, sources tell ESPN. Talks ongoing.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018
Earlier in free agency, Smart was reportedly frustrated with the lack of communication from Ainge’s front office. There were thoughts that the Kings might look to hand Smart a big offer after their pursuit of Zach LaVine fell through.
Other teams, including the Grizzlies and Nets, reportedly inquired about sign-and-trades for Smart.
The former Oklahoma State star played 54 games for the Celtics last season, missing a chunk due to injury. He averaged 10.2 points and a career high 4.8 assists per game in 2017-18.