Celtics headed nowhere fast to settle new deal

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Celtics headed nowhere fast to settle new deal

Post by bobheckler on Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:21 am

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2018/07/bulpett_marcus_smart_celtics_headed_nowhere_fast_to_settle_new_deal



Celtics headed nowhere fast to settle new deal





Familiar factors in play to scuttle new contract



Celtics Beat, Steve Bulpett Wednesday, July 11, 2018




LAS VEGAS — The Marcus Smart situation could be resolved tomorrow.

The Celtics could step in with a multi-year deal that suits their restricted free agent guard, or another club could make him an offer that is beyond the current market value.

But don’t count on it. Sources indicate this may drag on for quite a while. Smart determined his worth to be more than what is out there in this summer’s market, and the Celts are in no rush to bid against themselves.

It’s unclear now even if the club is willing to revisit their extension offer from last fall reported in the Herald last week (four years at more than $12 million per) whether that would even work for Smart now.

He appears to be viewing his worth relative to others as a percentage, but that can be problematic, especially this summer. With the cap expected to rise significantly in 2019, however, Smart is said to believe he will get what he feels is right. That could lead him accepting the one-year qualifying offer of $6,053,719 for the chance to become an unrestricted free agent.

And here in Vegas, Marcus seems very willing to bet on himself.

The risk is that, while Smart indicated his playoff shooting woes were exacerbated by taking one for the team and returning too quickly from his thumb injury, another poor year from the floor or an injury (a possibility increased by his playing style) could give clubs pause before writing the type of check he wants. A number of general managers here said that if Smart has a bad year, he may never make up for what he lost in the autumn ’17 turn-down.

Marcus’ side would obviously disagree.

Clearly the Celtics are more appreciative of Smart’s positives than disturbed by his shortcomings. His shot selection may be curious at times, and his NASCAR-in-sneakers approach to the game could use a bit more discretion, but he is their kind of crazy. I fully believe that if Smart is allowed to slip away — an extremely remote chance given the Celts’ ability to match any offer he gets this summer — Brad Stevens would cross Danny Ainge off his Christmas card list.

And were it not for fiscal imperatives, Ainge would be happy to give Smart a pile of money and move on. But contracts don’t happen in a vacuum. The Celtics have to be concerned about how a longer term deal for Smart could impact the ability to retain Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and even Kyrie Irving in the coming years.

The Celts will be paying the luxury tax if Smart signs anything more than the qualifying offer, and they’ll be on their way to the onerous repeater tax if they’re over the threshold for three out of four years.

Ainge said repeatedly that his primary remaining task this offseason is getting Smart back in the fold. But he’s also aware that the on-court landscape could be changing this season.

Rozier has proven worthy of more than just the minutes Irving doesn’t use, and Tatum will still get his time even with Gordon Hayward returning. Brown is going nowhere. And what if Brad Wanamaker is this year’s version of Daniel Theis, able to step in from overseas and provide solid minutes at a low price? Is it possible Smart feels a bit of a squeeze?

Then again, the need for Smart could grow infinitely stronger next summer if Irving uses his opt out to actually leave. And while we’ve said here all along that his value may be greater to the Celts than other clubs, that could be even more true next year, and more expensive.

So, sure, the Celtics would like to sign Smart to a deal that keeps him here for the next few years, but, according to sources, that kind of security seems less important to Smart right now than getting what he thinks is fair. The problem is that his and the Celtics’ idea of fair are currently at odds.

And the C’s are looking more at the market and what it is dictating. The reason for that is their aversion to being unprepared for change. If Irving and Horford opt out next year for the purpose of leaving, the club will have to do some heavy reconstruction on the fly.

In other words, look for the Celtics to continue their policy of not giving out contracts that can’t be traded. And while Smart’s side has raised the potential of a sign-and-trade, finding something the C’s would be willing to take back would seem to be a tough needle to thread.

But those roster issues are down the road, beyond what is expected to be a serious run for this season’s title. Closer, but still down the calendar’s path, is the need to resolve Smart’s 2018-19 employment.

A source indicated that if nothing gets settled this week, the sides could take a break after Vegas and revisit things later.

All that is known for sure is that Smart would like to stay a Celtic and the Celtics would like Smart to stay. The question is whether they can agree on a multi-year deal or take the one-season solution and put the issue off until next summer.



bob



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Re: Celtics headed nowhere fast to settle new deal

Post by wideclyde on Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:01 am

Neither Smart nor the team is to blame for this little standoff, but I would like to see a contract signed soon.

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Re: Celtics headed nowhere fast to settle new deal

Post by dboss on Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:05 pm

I think I'll start another Marcus Smart thread...just joking
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