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OK So What The Hell Is Going On With Marcus Smart

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I think it’s fair to say that all of us as Celtics fans are growing more and more impatient when it comes to the Celts and Marcus Smart’s restricted free agency. not in a bad way, but in a “I’m so nervous I could shit my pants” way. I can’t be the only one who is spending hours doing nothing but searching for a Woj/Shams bomb announcing some sort of deal, and whose heart skips a beat whenever I see other RFA news come in. Which is why if you’re been paying attention, there seems to have been an update late last night on the status of Marcus Smart’s free agency. Now it’s important to remember that at this time of year, everyone is posturing. The teams are posturing in a way where they are comfortable letting the market dictate a player’s price, that they won’t overreact or make a stupid decision. This is fairly common and something every smart team does. But there’s also the player and the agent side of things, where they need to do everything they can to squeeze every ounce of leverage they can in order to get the most money possible.

That is where I truly feel we are with this whole Smart ordeal. On one hand, we have the team side clearly leaking out stuff

I figure this was the team side because wouldn’t you know it, the other shoe dropped which reeks of Smart’s agent

Let me explain to you why I’m so confident this is simply Smart’s agent posturing. You see, when it comes to this team, I remember everything. Every little detail or quote finds its way into this big dumb brain of mine. Well reading this story from Mark Murphy, something stood out.

 And Smart is still waiting for that call, now with a thought that he may indeed have to plan on unrestricted free agency next summer when NBA teams are expected to once again be flush with money.

“If that’s the indication the Celtics are giving him — a one-year deal –— then absolutely, yes, he’s prepared for it,” said the source. “And that doesn’t bode well for the Celtics if it comes down to that.”

Hmmmmm, this story says “source” but it sounds an awful lot like this quote from Smart’s agent back in October doesn’t it?

“But Wyc (Grousbeck) doesn’t want to pay the tax,” Walters said of the Celtics’ managing partner. “They’re into the tax already with three guys who make $30 million a year. If they want someone to take a discount, maybe it should be someone who has already made $150 million in their career, not someone who is just up and coming.”

Smart will become a restricted free agent next summer as a result of the impasse, and Walters anticipates a busy market for Smart, even if the Celtics can match any bid by making a qualifying offer.

“It will cost them a lot more then, I can tell you that,” he said

I get it, a player’s agent has to do stuff like this for his client, but I’m not about to get all bent out of shape about some quotes that are clearly intended to try and increase Smart’s price. So the question now becomes who do you want to believe? I find it hard to believe Ainge has not talked to Smart at all since the summer started, I mean he was just at the fucking new practice facility

and honestly what exactly is the Celtics rush to get a deal done? Why wouldn’t they take their time, let him explore offers, and then whatever he brings back they can match. To me this sounds like maybe the market is telling Smart a price he doesn’t like, and instead they are trying to pressure Ainge into giving him an extension that may be more per year than what he could get from someone else. But that’s not exactly how this works. The threat of losing Smart in UFA doesn’t scare Ainge to the point where he would make a bad deal, because he has the guard depth to absorb that type of loss if it gets to that point. So honestly, I find it hard to imagine that Smart is truly “hurt and disgusted” because I’m sure they made it very clear when they extended their qualifying offer what the plan was. This team is all about flexibility, so they are not going to burn their cap space until they absolutely have to and the dust settles around the rest of the league.

I think Smart would love to stay in Boston, and obviously even the Dante Exum deal probably feels a little low to him, but that’s the reality of today’s RFA market. It also wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he just accepted the qualifying offer in terms of the teams overall cap and their ability to avoid the luxury tax, and I would simply advise you not to freak out over all of these “sources” and reports. Partly because Walter The God said so

but also because this is how the free agent game is played. Even if Smart does come back on a 1 year deal I wouldn’t consider it because he’s pissed, but rather he wants to re-enter the market when a bunch of other teams will have more cap space since the 2016 contracts will be off most of their books.

So take a deep breath and just try and hold out until we see the inevitable tweet that announces Smart’s return. There aren’t too many options out there that can offer Smart money the Celtics won’t match, so I’m having a hard time being truly shook about this most recent report. Trust in Danny Ainge like you have been and things will work out.

But seriously Marcus, if you’re reading this, we need you, we want you, we appreciate you. If you need me to be the one to say it I’ll scream it from my goddamn rooftop. Let’s get this deal signed and back to fucking shit up because this team is in quite the position moving forward, and you are a major part of that.