By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
How much money is too much money for Marcus Smart to leave on the table to stay in Boston as a member of the Boston Celtics?
Following the Celtics’ current run through the NBA Playoffs Smart will become a free agent for the first time in his four-year career.
This morning on ‘Toucher & Rich,’ tv play-by-play voice of the Celtics, Mike Gorman, joined the show and said that he hopes ‘Smart would consider a slight discount from the Celtics to be in a “much better situation” than going to a worse organization/team that offers him $2-3 million more a year.’
We can only hope that’ll be case because his defensive abilities are top-notch and the Celtics can’t afford to lose that from the guard position. Especially with Terry Rozier III’s inability to guard multiple positions like Smart can.
But the real knock on Smart is his poor shot selection, to go along with his below-average field goal shooting percentage. [League Average: 46 percent — Smart Career: 36 percent]
The thing here is that so many players throughout the years, across all professional sports, have chased the money regardless of the situation they’re leaving and entering.
We can just go down the line from Tony Allen, Evan Turner and so on. But a guy like Ray Allen left almost double his salary on the table to join the Miami Heat back in the summer of 2012. Or a player like current Celtic, Gordon Hayward, who left a good situation for a better one with chump change still sitting on the table.
So what will Smart do?
Smart is currently making $4,538,019 for the 2017-2018 season and the Celtics hold a $6,053,718 “qualifying offer” for the upcoming 2018-2019 season.
The high-energy, wicked tempered guard could be in line to get almost more than double than the “qualifying offer” from another team that’s looking for a borderline starting point guard.
Gorman continues on with saying, “If somebody’s offering you $14 million and somebody else is offering you $16 million – I know there’s a $2 million difference there, but if you’ve got $14 million in your hands, don’t you start thinking about quality of life? Don’t you start thinking about where you want to live? Don’t you start thinking about ‘how good is this team I’m going to, and can they contend?”
“You would hope all those thoughts would come into your mind when you’ve got $14 million in the back pocket and it’s just a difference of $2-3 million. But that’s the world these guys live in, and they live in a world full of agents and agents work on commission.”
So in the grand scheme of things what’s the different between $2-3 million? In the sports world, not too much.
But in comparison to his “qualifying offer,” Smart could be looking at a difference of $8 million.
Now that’s a fat stack of cash to leave on the table to stay in Boston to chase another championship in during the 18-19′ season.
Smart might not be leaving any money the table according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.
When MacMullan appeared on the Hoop Collective podcast, she said Smart is going to wherever the money is this summer despite Boston’s love affair for the pesky guard.
Gorman was questioned about Smart earlier today because during the podcast, MacMullen went onto say that, “I’ve talked to lots of people around the Celtics and around the league about Marcus Smart. If Marcus Smart was willing to take a – let’s say Sacramento for arguments sake or another team that isn’t quite good. And they offer him $14 million a year. And the Celtics say, ‘We can’t pay you that. But we’ll pay you $12 (million).’”
“My question to them was will Marcus Smart take it because they’re contending, he’s a cult hero in town. Every one of them said, ‘Hell no, he’s going for the money.’ I’ve never asked him this question. But that’s the impression I get. You can’t blame young guys who want to go out to the highest bidder and thinks he should be a starter and he’s not going to be one in Boston for many years to come,” said MacMullen.
Time will tell what Smart’s plan will be, but just know that if he decides to stay in Boston, it’s not to make the most money he can but more so to win a championship in 2019.
Over the last two seasons, Smart has averaged 10.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals-per-game through 133 games and 35 starts. He logs more than 29 minutes-per-game, while shooting 36.2 percent from the field, 29.1 percent from three and 78.3 percent from the line.
In mid-March of this season Smart underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and later returned for an epic Game 5 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs.
The Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers will continue on Wednesday night, with the series ties at two-games a piece. Game 5 is set to tip-off in Boston at 8:30 p.m.
UP NEXT: The #2 Boston Celtics (55-27/2-2) will head back to Boston to take on the #4 Cavaliers (50-32/2-2) on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 8:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m.
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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