Marcus Smart isn’t going anywhere.
Thursday. Smart would ink an extension to remain with the Boston Celtics. And according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, it’s a pretty big deal for a role player.
“Restricted free agent Marcus Smart has agreed to a four-year, $52M deal to return to the Boston Celtics, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.”
That’s not to say he isn’t worth it, however. He’s crucial to Boston’s system, even if the Celtics could feasibly afford to lose him. If Kyrie Irving stays fully healthy all season and Jaylen Brown takes another step forward like he did last season, there’s not going to be much playing time for Smart. But we’re confident that head coach Brad Stevens can figure it out. In other words, Smart is going to get valuable minutes for the Celtics next season.
Over his past two seasons, he has averaged 10.4 points, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals. He’s not a great shooter (36.2 percent career rate from the field) but his value lies in his defense. Sorry, Jabari. Smart has the ability to defend all five positions. He’s also led the Celtics in steals in each of the past two seasons.
In the meantime, Boston is coming off another 50-win season. This one saw them finish second out East only to fall in seven games to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. But remember, they didn’t have Kyrie for the duration of the postseason. They didn’t have Gordon Hayward for the entire regular season. Both of those players will be back on the court for the Celtics next season. Others like Brown and Jayson Tatum are developing rapidly. And now Marcus Smart isn’t going anywhere.
Health permitting, the Celtics are the team to beat in the east. And there’s no other way around it.