Will Marcus Smart wind up re-signing with Boston or is his days with the Celtics about to come to an end?
The veteran point could be answering that question soon. Earlier in the week, Celtics president Danny Ainge reaffirmed that reaching a deal with Smart remains a “top priority” for the organization. That being said, Yahoo Sports reported that Smart hasn’t been quick to move the needle on an extension because of what he perceives as a “lack of respect” from the Celtics’ front office.
A source close to Marcus Smart says Smart has been “unresponsive” in #Celtics’ efforts to reach out because he is “insulted by what he feels is a lack of respect by front office.” https://t.co/aGVO4xiA6t— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 12, 2018
That perception could explain why the 24-year-old was seen meeting with the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the week, as reported by The Athletic.
What appears to be Boston Celtics restricted free agent Marcus Smart and his agent having a conversation with Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks at the Thomas and Mack Center on Monday night. pic.twitter.com/04EaquaNxy— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 10, 2018
Yahoo Sports additionally reported that the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings are also interested in acquiring Smart’s services this offseason.
Are Celtics about to lose Marcus Smart
If Smart doesn’t like what any of those teams envision for him, he could opt to sign the Celtics $6.1 million qualifying offer or leverage a higher one-year deal this offseason and then hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent next summer. Having carved out the reputation for being a dogged point guard on both ends of the floor, Smart averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 assists for the Celtics last season, as they came within minutes of reaching the NBA Finals. Like Ainge, Smart’s backcourt mate, Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown, wants the point guard back with the squad for the 2018-19 season and beyond.
Jaylen Brown on Marcus Smart: "There’s two types of players. You have guys that kind of sit back and let the game develop and wait for the game to come to them, and then there’s guys that take it to you, and throw the first punch. And me and Marcus throw the first punch."
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 12, 2018