Boston Celtics

Another day, another non-update on restricted free agent Marcus Smart.

Speaking with the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy on Monday, it seems as if Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has embraced the idea that Smart’s current decision is largely out of his hands.

“Don’t know,” Ainge said when asked about Smart. “Everything is in negotiations right now. But we want Marcus back.”

Ainge’s latter point has been a constant in what has been a relatively bizarre summer for Smart and the Celtics.

After the sides were unable to come to an agreement during the regular season, Smart ended his season by saying that he was worth more than $12 million per season. Ainge, for what it’s worth, didn’t hold it against Smart, but also didn’t seem to be all that thrilled with Smart talking about his contract moments after the Celtics just completed a third-round choke in Game 7.

Then came Smart’s presence (with agent Happy Walters) at Summer League action in Las Vegas, which paved the way for a rumor that the Sacramento Kings were preparing an offer sheet for Smart. When that didn’t materialize, a new rumor suggested that the Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies were eyeing a potential sign-and-trade for the defensive stopper.

But Smart is still without a formal offer from another NBA team, leaving the Celts and Smart in this game of chicken.

Feeling that they don’t have to bid against themselves, Ainge appears more than comfortable letting an offer sheet come Smart’s way that will force the C’s to either match the offer or let the sixth overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft walk.

The longest-tenured Celtic, Smart can of course still accept his $6.05 million qualifying offer from the Celtics. That deal would allow Smart to prove himself on a one-year deal and then hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

Smart averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 assists in 54 games this past season.