Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports

Report: Marcus Smart hasn't heard from Celtics on contract extension

Ty Anderson
October 09, 2017 - 3:36 pm

Marcus Smart would love to remain a Celtic, but his agent, Happy Walters, yet to hear from the team on a possible contract extension, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

This is not as random a story as you would imagine, either, as the 23-year-old Smart -- set to enter his fourth NBA season (and doing so as the longest-tenured Celtic) -- will be a restricted free agent in 2018, and has until midnight Oct. 16 to work out an in-season extension with Boston before the sides would be forced to wait until next summer.

Establishing himself as a capable defender at the NBA level, the 6-foot-4 guard finished last season with career-best marks in points (10.6) and assists (4.6) per game, and also established a career-high in games played, with 79. He also came to training camp in the best shape of his life, dropping over 20 pounds, and doing so as a means to better defend all-world guards such as the Wizards’ Bradley Beal and John Wall.

On the surface, that sounds perfect, and something that the C’s would obviously want to keep in town as part of their long-term core (and it’s obviously worth noting that Celtics president Danny Ainge has called Smart part of that future core).

But Ainge’s hesitation to immediately sign Smart might be done as a motivation tactic, as the Celtics would obviously like to see Smart improve his shot (which was just a straight-up disaster last season) and prove himself on that promise of being a lockdown defender beyond the physical appearance of his in-shape return to camp.

Ainge may also have an early read on the 2018 market that says a top-dollar offer sheet -- like the one the Nets tried with Otto Porter Jr. before the Wizards matched their offer, keeping him in D.C. -- coming Smart’s way is unlikely.

Smart was drafted with the No. 6 overall pick in 2014, and has averaged 9.3 points, 3.7 assists, and 3.8 rebounds in 207 career NBA games.

 

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