Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Report: Marcus Smart and Celtics fail to agree to extension before deadline

Ty Anderson
October 16, 2017 - 2:41 pm

Time has run out on extension talks between the Celtics and pending restricted free agent Marcus Smart, meaning that Smart will begin his 2017-18 season without a long-term deal in place. 

League sources told The Boston Globe earlier today that both sides (C’s president Danny Ainge and Smart’s agent Happy Walters) attempted to finalize a dea, but they had “come up short” to that point. League sources also noted that it was unlikely that the sides, though still on the same page of wanting the player to be in Boston for the future, would come through with a sudden push or breakthrough that leads towards a resolution prior to the deadline. 

And while a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski later in the day said that the sides ultimately got close on a new, they could not quite seal the deal on an agreement before the deadline. 

This always seemed to be the likely path for the 23-year-old Smart and the Celtics, as the team would probably like another year to evaluate Smart’s overall game, and see if Smart’s offseason, slimming makeover successfully translates to on-court success.

“More explosiveness, a lot more quickness laterally, and you’re gonna see me be able to guard the guards like John Wall and Bradley Beal and guys like that a lot better,” Smart said of what his new-look, which saw him drop over 20 pounds, will bring to the Celtics. “You’re definitely gonna see my energy level stay at a high rate. Last year with that extra weight, the first half I was energy, energy, but when the fourth quarter would come, I still had that mindset of energy, but my body wouldn’t allow me to do it.”

The failure to hammer out an extension before the night’s end obviously means that Smart, the longest-tenured Celtic, owill be open to offer sheets as a restricted free agent in 2018. But it's worth noting that the Celtics will still have the ability to match any deal a team throws Smart’s way (the Wizards did this when Otto Porter Jr. signed an offer sheet with the Nets this past summer).

The sixth overall pick from 2014, Smart has averaged 9.3 points in 207 NBA games, but is coming off a career-best 10.6 points and 4.6 assists per game in 79 games last year.

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