SOURCE– Restricted free agent Marcus Smart has agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract to re-sign with the Boston Celtics, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
After a contentious start to negotiations, Smart’s agent, Happy Walters, and the Celtics’ brass made significant progress in recent days to ensure Smart remained in Boston. Smart and Walters met with the Celtics’ front office and ownership on Thursday in Boston to finalize the agreement, league sources said.
For Smart, the new deal represents more than the range of his extension negotiations before the 2017-18 season (four years, $50 million) and a strong commitment in this year’s free agency market. Smart had an Oct. 1 deadline on the $6.1 million qualifying offer that the Celtics tendered him last month.
Smart, 24, has established himself as part of the Celtics’ core and culture, serving as a tenacious defender, team voice and productive player. Smart met with several teams, including the Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies, during the NBA summer league in Las Vegas, but also had a private meeting with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge last week.
A year before dealing with the free agencies of Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier, the Celtics understood the importance of bringing back Smart on a long-term extension, and the guard has remained loyal and communicative with head coach Brad Stevens and his teammates.
WELCOME BACK MARCUS SMART!
Oh god, I have been waiting all summer for this to get done. Sitting on pins and needles through the silence, the hurt and disgust, the fake Kings rumors, all of it. It made me sick. And then Woj dropped that finally, after all of this, both teams were talking.
And then, nothing. Nothing got reported that it was final. Woj started it and then the next day, Shams finished it off.
And then the Celtics made it official.
Is $13 million a lot for a backup Point Guard? Of course, it is. However, Smart means more to this team than just a backup Point Guard. Marcus is the heart and soul of this team and you could just tell when he returned to the team in the first series against the Bucks, he gave the team a defensive edge that they were missing. Everyone says it, winning plays, but he really does make them. He is the kind of guy who will do whatever it takes to win. Every championship team needs a guy like Marcus Smart. The Warriors have Draymond Green to fill that role and Marcus does it for Boston.
So welcome back Marcus, I can’t wait for you to throw your body all over the court and win a championship next year.