As the Boston Celtics gave their last interviews of the season, Marcus Smart spoke about how he wants to stay in Boston.
The Boston Celtics season ended on Sunday, but the C’s are already starting to plan for the offseason.
Marcus Smart was a key part of the Celtics deep run in the playoffs. He does things that cannot be measured on the stat sheet. He dives for any ball that hits the ground and is a supreme defender. Smart is one of the greatest bench players in the NBA. According to Smart, it seems like the C’s are planning on bringing him back.
"“I’m here. They’re already planning for me to be here,” Smart said. “Those guys, I tip my hat to those guys. You don’t see a lot of organizations that’s as clear about their players as the way this organization does it.”"
Smart is a fan favorite in Boston. He is beloved for his scrappy style of play that is easy to like. Smart is a restricted free agent this offseason and if he wants to, can make some big money. It seems like Smart’s heart is in Boston, but his bank account may lead him somewhere else.
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"“I got a lot to think about. There’s a lot of factors that go into it. But that being said, I want to be in Boston. I want to be here,” Smart said. “I love this city, I love this team, I love the atmosphere it gives off. I’ve been here for four years. My heart’s here. But there’s definitely going to be some factors going into it.”"
How much will Smart cost?
Smart spoke to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan and believes he is worth more than $12-$14 million. Now that is a lot of money for a guy who is terrible on the offensive side of the ball.
Still Smart is the heart of the Celtics. He can change the course of a game by diving for a loose ball or taking a charge.
Now the Celtics ownership has stated that as long as the team is winning they are willing to pay the big bucks. Smart believes he is worth more than $14 million and maybe the Celtics will pay him accordingly. If Smart is asking for more than $15 million though I think the C’s need to take a pass on Smart. He is amazing on defense, but the Celtics can’t overpay for him. Aron Baynes and Shane Larkin are unrestricted free agents and you have to think the Celtics will at least re-sign one of them (hopefully Baynes).
If Smart chases the moneybag I would expect his numbers to drop. Smart is the perfect bench player and his numbers would diminish if he became a starter. Hopefully, he will be smart and realize that the best fit for him is in Boston.