Former Oklahoma State basketball star Marcus Smart has signed a four-year, $77 million dollar contract extension with the Boston Celtics. Smart has spent his entire seven year career with Boston, who drafted him seventh overall in 2014.
☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) August 16, 2021
Smart will make more than $90 million in total over the next five seasons with $14 million remaining for next season on his previous deal. Boston will commit more than $19 million per season to Smart after 2021-22, a big commitment with two other All Stars on the roster. Smart is currently the only guaranteed contract on Boston’s books for 2025-26; Jayson Tatum has a $37 million player option for that season.
The former Cowboy averaged a career high in minutes (32.9), points (13.1) and assists (5.7) last season. Boston will need more of the same from him moving forward as he will likely be tasked with running the offense. Smart has played with Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker — each of whom were named an All Star with the Celtics while playing with Smart — since his rookie season. Now, those duties will be his.
The Celtics decided to trade Walker to Oklahoma City in exchange for Al Horford shortly after the C’s were eliminated from the playoffs last season. That move saved the team close to $10 million and left a vacancy at the point guard spot. By committing this money to Smart, Boston is entrusting him with starting point guard duties moving forward. Smart started all but three games he played in last season, but has not been Boston’s starting point guard since he started 38 of the 67 games he played as a rookie in 2014-15.
Smart’s extension locks in Boston’s core for the foreseeable future. Jaylen Brown — a first time All Star in 2021 — is signed through 2023-24 while Tatum — a two time All Star — is signed through 2024-25 with the aforementioned player option. Smart’s extension locks up Boston’s top three players for the next three seasons.
Other point guards in the roster include 2020 first round pick Payton Pritchard and the newly signed Dennis Schröder. The latter signed a one-year, $5.9 million contract earlier this week after reportedly turning down a four-year, $84 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. Schröder will likely be a Celtic for just one season, leaving Pritchard as a more than capable backup moving forward.
While Smart will likely be the starting point guard — as indicated by first-year head coach Ime Udoka this week — but could play his old two-guard spot next to Schröder at times.
Ime Udoka said he intends to put the ball in Marcus Smart's hands a lot more.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) August 11, 2021
"He’s kind of asked for that and I think he’ll be a great facilitator as well.”
Smart and the Celtics each fulfill a need with this contract. Smart gets paid the maximum amount allowed under the CBA and Boston gets a starting level point guard locked up for the future at a reasonable number to play alongside it’s two budding stars. The Celtics have needed stability at the point guard position for years after short stints of Thomas, Irving and Walker. Hopefully, Smart will be the starter in Boston for the next five seasons to give the C’s their longest-tenured starting point guard since Rajon Rondo.