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Shams Charania: Sources: Marcus Smart’s agent and Boston remained fully engaged before extension deadline. No deal, couldn’t bridge the gap.
Steve Kyler: Marcus Smart’s camp had a number in mind. Celtics got close but they feel like he is primed for a real offer sheet in July if he progresses
Jay King: Ainge on Smart extension: “We have had some conversations, but we haven’t really got into negotiating. But we’ve had conversation.”
Despite the lack of talks, Smart said his preference is to be in Boston into the distant future. “I would love to be here long term. I hope I’m here long term,” said Smart. “I love the organization, I love the fans, I love everything the Celtics are about.”
For Boston, an extension might ultimately hinge on what the market sets for Smart’s value. It seems unlikely Boston would be willing to pay Smart the sort of money Gary Harris got from the Denver Nuggets (4 years, $84 million), but there’s a more palpable number for a Celtics team that’s set to live above the cap for the foreseeable future. Staring at an eventual climb back into the luxury tax (and, further out, repeater penalties), the Celtics must still be responsible with their spending, especially considering that many rivals won’t have much to spend on the open market this summer.
But some league sources believe rival teams could be tempted to throw a big offer sheet at Smart in hopes that the Celtics — whose roster is set to grow plenty expensive over the coming years — would either decline to match it or be forced to pay top dollar, both in salary and future luxury taxes, to keep the 23-year-old long term.
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