The Boston Celtics have signed guard Marcus Smart to a 4 year, $52 million contract according to reports. He will be paid all that money to come off the bench and that isn't common but it is still a great investment.
This off-season was challenging for Smart because he felt like the Celtics were ignoring him when he wanted to play in Boston. They came around and made him a good deal that will keep him happy. He has earned every penny of his deal and could have gotten more if the market wasn't as tight as it was this year. He is an important piece that they will need if they want to make another run for the NBA Finals next season.
The numbers Smart puts up aren't that impressive. He averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game last season. Yet he was their go to man on the defensive end. He is pesky and annoying and gives every play 150 percent. Those are the traits you need in players if you want to win it all.
Still, many people will feel like he doesn't deserve $13 million a season. He is a mediocre three point shooter and he will be coming off the bench. These people don't understand that the game of basketball comes down to momentum plays and Smart is able to create momentum for his team and stop momentum of opposing teams. What he brings to the table can't be measured by numbers.
If Smart were to sign with another team, who would the Celtics replace him with? Their second unit would lose their defensive edge and instead will have to keep scoring to stay in the game. Trying to keep up with the Golden State Warriors' offense is almost impossible and it is better to have defensive players that will prevent them from even getting a good shot up.
Paying $13 million for Smart is the right price in my opinion. Underpaying him would make him unhappy and he will leave in the near future. Instead, they Celtics can keep him happy and keep him around for the future. They have a lot of young talented players that will keep the Celtics at the top of the Eastern Conference foe years to come