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Report: Marcus Smart may not make more than a mid-level exception in restricted free agency

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With trade rumors circulating about Smart’s restricted free agency, a report says that he won’t make much this summer.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA trade deadline is three days away, and the Celtics are unsurprisingly one of the more active teams leading up to Thursday.

Rumors have circulated that the Celtics would be willing to listen to offers for Marcus Smart if the deal included a first round pick. Smart has said that he is not worried about the trade rumors, but those reports were centered around the uncertainty of the guard’s restricted free agency.

Ben Rohrbach reported Monday that Smart may not make more than a mid-level exception this summer in restricted free agency.

The article contained this statement from another agent:

“Happy Walters will mess up Marcus Smart as he did with Nerlens Noel,” a rival agent said. “He has promised him $57-60 million for three years — not happening for a good backup.”

Walters represents Smart as well as Noel (Not any more), who reportedly turned down a contract extension from the Dallas Mavericks that would have netted him $17.5 million per year. Now he is signed under a one-year deal worth just over $4 million, heading into a free agent market with a lot less cap space than previous summers.

Walters negotiated with the Celtics before the regular season began on a possible contract extension for the fourth-year player, but a deal was not ultimately reached. Walters released this statement after the extension talks fizzled.

“But Wyc (Grousbeck) doesn’t want to pay the tax,” Walters said of the Celtics’ managing partner. “They’re into the tax already with three guys who make $30 million a year. If they want someone to take a discount, maybe it should be someone who has already made $150 million in their career, not someone who is just up and coming.”

He followed that up by saying, “It will cost them a lot more [this summer], I can tell you that.”

Smart is set to be a restricted free agent this summer. The Celtics are able to extend him a qualifying offer, typically a one-year deal similar to what Noel has now. This allows Boston to match any offer sheet that Smart signs with another team and retain him. The Celtics can also agree to an extension with Smart before he goes and meets with other teams.

The details of what Smart and his agent turned down before the season have not been released, and while it is unclear at the moment how Boston views Smart in their long term plans, Smart’s contract outlook doesn’t look great.