BOSTON (CBS) — Marcus Smart wants to be part of the Boston Celtics’ future, and all signs point to the franchise sharing those feelings.
But the team and guard have yet to start discussing a potential contract extension, Smart told The Vertical’s Sham Charania. The two sides have until midnight on October 16 to reach an extension or Smart will become a restricted free agent next offseason.
The 23-year-old Smart is entering his fourth season in Boston and figures to be a big part of the new-look Celtics’ bench. The sixth overall pick in 2014, Smart is the longest-tenured member of the Celtics after their flurry of offseaon moves.
After an up-and-down 2016-17 season, Smart came into training camp 20-lbs lighter and looking poised for a career year. He’s averaged 10 points per game over Boston’s first two preseasons contests and his jumper looks much improved, with Smart hitting five of his nine shots from downtown.
Smart played in 79 games for Boston last season, averaging career-highs in points (10.6) and assists (4.6) per game.
There’s a good chance Boston and Smart would still reach an agreement next offseason, though allowing him to hit restricted free agency runs the risk of a rival team coming in with an offer sheet the Celtics may not be able to match given their current payroll. Smart should have plenty of clubs interested, as Charania notes that “Teams are expected to value Smart’s abilities on both ends of the floor, as well as his pedigree as part of a winning culture in Boston.”