Boston Celtics

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Marcus Smart Saga™ doesn’t sound like it’s going to end any time soon. But it could – if another team is willing to step up.

As reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Jordan Schultz on Wednesday, the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets are among several teams who have called the Boston Celtics about a potential sign-and-trade for the 24-year-old point guard. Schultz later added that Smart has been “unresponsive” to Celtics’ attempts to reach out because he’s “insulted by what he feels is a lack of respect by front office.” However, the same source who informed Schultz of the sign-and-trade talks says the C’s have had “zero” communication with him.

Regardless of how much or how little the Celtics have tried to reach out, Smart ostensibly is not pleased about the lack of back-and-forth about the restricted free agent’s contract. And it might last even longer than anyone may have expected. The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett added further context in a new story on Wednesday, reporting that the two sides may take a break after summer league and reconvene at a later date, and also that the whole thing “may drag on for a while.”

May 9, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) looks to pass the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half in game five of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, sources tell Bulpett that Smart isn’t interested in the “security” of a long-term deal so much as getting an offer that’s “fair” to him. Obviously, the Celtics and Smart are butting heads over what exactly would be a “fair” number; Smart has previously said he believes he’s worth more than $12-14 million per season.

No matter what the Celtics are doing, it sounds like Smart needs to just settle down a bit. He’s a restricted free agent and the Celtics, who have already extended a $6.05 million qualifying offer, are under no obligation to pay him maximum value for even one year, let alone 3-4. If he wants to get a “fair” deal, he’ll likely have to wait for another team to pay it and to end up in a another jersey through a sign-and-trade.

Smart may not be as upset as he’s being portrayed in recent stories. But what’s important is that he and the Celtics appear to be far apart on an agreement for a new deal, and that the interest from other teams sure sounds real.

It could be until the end of the summer until Smart decides on that qualifying offer. And, as it can never be with Danny Ainge, a sign-and-trade can’t be ruled out.

Matt Dolloff 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 Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.