Shams Charania reported Thursday morning that guard Marcus Smart has agreed to a new 4-year/$52-mil contract to re-sign with the Boston Celtics.
Restricted free agent Marcus Smart has agreed to a four-year, $52M deal to return to the Boston Celtics, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 19, 2018
Marcus Smart was drafted #6 overall with the Celtics in the 2014 NBA Draft, and he’s currently Boston’s longest tenured player on the roster after last summer’s overhaul that left just 4 returning players from the 2016-17 team on the roster. Over his 4-year career, Smart has averaged 9.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists, shooting 36% from the field. He’s amassed 10.9 regular season win shares as well.
Smart turned down an extension last fall for nearly the same amount when the Celtics offered him before the deadline in October (reportedly 4-years/$50M). He opted to bet on himself, and underwent a season with plenty of highs and plenty of lows. In the end, after a cold market hit Smart at the beginning of his restricted free agency, Smart and the Celtics were able to get back to the drawing board and agree on a deal.
With a contract totaling $52M, Smart received a figure that’s closer to lining up with what he believed to be his worth. Additionally, he’s now signed long-term, adding stability for himself or a tradable contract for Ainge down the road.
Here are details on Smart’s contract structure:
Smart's annual money on the 4-year, $52 million deal...— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 19, 2018
Salaries include a $500K likely bonus for body fat weigh in, per sources.
Smart has spent four seasons winning over Celtics fans with his trademark “winning plays” and extreme memeability while also alienating some Celtics fans with his shooting numbers and turnovers. No matter what side you’re on in the Smart debate, this is a fair deal for both sides.
It gives Smart the money he’s looking for while also afford the Celtics to have options as both Terry Rozier and Kyrie Irving hit free agency next summer. If both of them bolt, Marcus Smart has shown himself to be capable of running the offense, especially with growing offensive threats on the wing in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
If Irving and or Rozier stay, the Celtics get to keep their core together. With the team coming just minutes away from the NBA Finals without two of their All-Stars, there’s plenty of reason why keeping this team together makes sense.
Many fans have expressed concerns about Marcus Smart’s new contract taking the team into the luxury tax, but there are a few things to remember. For starters, ownership has made it clear that they intend to pay the luxury tax for a championship-contending team. This is a championship-contending team. Second, the Celtics have all the way until next February’s trade deadline to get under the tax. The team is one or two small deals away from dipping under the tax.
For now, though, we celebrate.