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The Boston Celtics were one win away from playing in the 2018 NBA Finals but couldn’t seal the deal at home. Now, they have to prepare for next season and one player that may walk away is Marcus Smart.
2018 was the year Smart became the heart of the Celtics team. His defense and charisma made the Celtics one of the best defensive teams in the league. He was even holding his own against LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals. Smart's spectacular defense is going to get him paid. Will the Celtics be able to afford him?
So far, it seems like the Celtics and Smart will come to an agreement. Numbers haven’t been thrown around yet but they both want to make it work.
“I'm here. They're already planning for me to be here,” Smart said. “Those guys, I tip my hat to those guys. You don't see a lot of organizations that's as clear about their players as the way this organization does it.”
Boston has had a discussion about Smart’s future with him and I applaud them because they did it before their season ended. But those are just words until a contract is written up. Last year, the Celtics and guard Isaiah Thomas were on great terms before they shipped him to Cleveland without a warning.
Teams will look for their own best interest and Smart needs to make sure he gets his worth. He has to think about himself first and the team second. Boston needs Smart but they won’t give him a lot of money because they are already spending a lot on their current stars. Smart does seem to be taking everything in stride.
“I got a lot to think about.” Said smart. “There's a lot of factors that go into it. But that being said, I want to be in Boston. I want to be here. I love this city, I love this team, I love the atmosphere it gives off. I've been here for four years. My heart's here. But there's definitely going to be some factors going into it.”
Some teams will make a play for Smart because what he brings to a team is immeasurable. Plus, having a great defensive player that can create turnovers is what every coach wants. The downside with Smart is that he doesn’t shoot the ball well.
In the current market, Smart will draw around $12 to $15 million. Will the Celtics match an offer like that? I don’t think they will. They already have a bunch of great players and can let Smart walk. The Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals without their two best players. When they do have them next year, they can make a run to the NBA Finals. In a few months, we will find out if Smart is around for that or not.