The free agent market is dwindling as we move towards the end of July, but there are still some fairly big names still out there. One of them is the Boston Celtics' defensive-minded guard Marcus Smart. However, according to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Smart could soon be another name crossed off the list.
That's because Boston GM Danny Ainge and Smart's agent are "seriously engaged" in contract talks that would see Smart return to the Celtics on a four-year deal worth somewhere between $46-50 million.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge and Happy Walters, the agent for restricted free agent guard Marcus Smart, are now seriously engaged in contract talks, league sources tell ESPN. Potential deal range is in the four-year, $46M-$50M range, sources tell ESPN. Talks ongoing.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018
In his four seasons with the Celtics, Smart has never put up big numbers, and is, statistically, one of the worst shooters of all-time, hitting on just 36 percent of his field-goal attempts in his career. Still, he has proven to be an integral part of Boston's success over the past few seasons, as they've gone on runs to the Eastern Conference finals.
Now, as the team looks to take the next step and make the NBA Finals, it's clear they want Smart to be a part of that process. And who can blame them? For his many flaws on the offensive end, he is a solid playmaker and can run the offense when Kyrie Irving is out of the game or injured. But this contract is more so a reward for his contributions on the defensive end. Despite being just 6-foot-4, Smart has incredible defensive versatility and is constantly coming up with big plays.
Throughout the first few weeks of free agency, there were whispers of other teams, including the Sacramento Kings, making a play at Smart. However, there really hasn't been anything concrete, and no teams have given him an offer sheet. Considering the lack of cap space around the league, and the Celtics' renewed push to retain Smart, it seems this saga will end with the guard back in Boston.