Monday, 23 July, 2018

Celtics’ Danny Ainge called Marcus Smart, but offer was not made

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stops for a moment to pose by a sign made by a fan during the team's NBA basketball championship parade Tuesday Marcus Smart Open To Deal Worth Less Than $15M Per Season
Cassandra Castillo | 12 July, 2018, 05:40

At the end of the day, it's also important to remember that the Celtics can match any offer sheet Smart signs.

The restricted-free-agency game has not been kind to Nets general manager Sean Marks, but that doesn't appear to have discouraged him from playing.

Of course, the alternative possibility is that the Kings' ineptitude could display itself in the team making an outsize offer for Marcus Smart, based on the idea that they can turn him into a completely different player.

Smart came into free agency expecting to get paid, and rightfully so, but as of Tuesday morning, Smart is reportedly open to accepting a long-term offer for less than $15 million annually.

More news: Tour de France director calls for 'serenity' with Froome

That strategy isn't without risk, though. That deal reportedly exceeds the three-year, $33 million deal Jazz guard Dante Exum signed this offseason.

Smart is considered an elite defender and a strong locker room presence, but he is only a 36 percent career shooter. While he may not suffer a Noel-like fall in terms of value, it's not hard to see a combination of factors hurting his leverage as a free agent again next year.

Himmelsbach reported Smart wants a multiyear deal rather than the qualifying offer. Assuming he's willing to wait, somebody-whether it's the Celtics or another team-should meet his asking price before the start of the regular season.

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