The hits keep on coming for first-time front office head Brad Stevens, who looks to have made yet another big move. This time, the Boston Celtics president locked down an important piece of his team’s core
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics and two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team pick Marcus Smart have come to terms on a long-term contract extension. Per Woj, the 27-year-old will remain in Beantown for an additional four years (through the 2025-26 season) and $77 million.
That extension amount was the maximum allowable coming off of Smart’s $14.3 million salary for next season.
Shortly after Smart’s extension agreement was reported, the longtime Celtics guard was celebrating his new deal on social media. Smart’s Instagram account was updated with a Celtics-centric photo and video montage and the caption, “Let’s go 4 more…” while his Twitter timeline was inundated with shamrock emoji representing his years of service.
In a Tough Year for the Celtics, Smart Reached New Heights
In many ways, the 2020-21 campaign is one that Celtics fans would probably like to forget. While the team scuffled to a .500 record and a first-round exit, though, Smart showed improvement in some key areas.
With Kyrie Irving gone and Kemba Walker in and out of the lineup, Smart was regularly called upon to direct the offense. And he managed to do so relatively well. His 5.7 assists per game represented a new career-high. Meanwhile, the Celtics put up 114.2 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor.
That was the third-best mark on the team, trailing just Walker and Jayson Tatum.
He also produced more of his own offense, putting up a career-best 13.1 points per game. Although he still has work to do as a shooter, his effective field goal percentage of 48.9 was the second-highest mark of his seven-year career.
His biggest improvement came in the mid-range; he shot 49.5% on shots from three to 10 feet from the hoop and 46.4% on attempts from 16 feet away and out to the three-point line. Both numbers were new career-highs.
Smart played particularly well during Boston’s abbreviated playoff run, averaging 17.8 points, 6.0 assists and 4.4 rebounds against the Brooklyn Nets. He also hit on 37.2% of his triples.
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Stevens’ Big Offseason At a Glance
Stevens may be early in his run as an NBA decision-maker but he definitely hasn’t eased into the role.
He began his presidency by swapping Walker for Al Horford, saving millions in the process. From there, he swung Moses Brown, who was part of the Walker deal, for a useful wing in Josh Richardson. He also turned Tristan Thompson into Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando and a pick.
In free agency, he brought walking double-double Enes Kanter back to Beantown and outright stole Dennis Schroder for the taxpayer midlevel exception. He also made the big decision to allow his own big-time free agent, Evan Fournier, to leave for a huge payday with the New York Knicks.
Additionally, he hired his own replacement in Ime Udoka, who had garnered respect around the Association for his work as an assistant.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger recently called the Celtics’ offseason a win. If you’re a believer in Smart, it’s probably time to upgrade Boston’s haul to an epic win.
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