The deadline came and passed without the Celtics being able to extend their longest-tenured player to an extension. Obviously there are always differences between the agents and the front office but this would have been a nice boost to enter the season.
There’s no doubt the Celtics want to keep Smart after the fire-sale that they had this offseason, keeping only four players from the regular season Eastern Conference champions. On one hand, it may not be the worst thing to let a career 35% shooter see if he can work out his offense woes before signing him to an extension. Obviously, Smart does so many things that don’t end up on the score sheet and gives you a ton of heart and effort every night. However, in this league — you need to also produce from the offensive end as well.
Smart will now enter RFA next season, where he could easily be offered a max offer sheet by a team. The NBA is notorious for ridiculous contracts — and if Evan Turner can get signed, somebody will throw the money at Smart. Danny Ainge however has managed to have quite the offseason and proves to be savvy in his decisions so hopefully we’ll see this is the right choice. Everyone is expecting big things from Smart this year, jumping into an even more premier role with the loss of Avery Bradley. Not sure I agree with the decision to not sign him and get it over with — but in Danny, we trust.