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Marcus Smart, hard-working Celtics guard, sure to draw interest

Marcus Smart, hard-working Celtics guard, sure to draw interest
Published On: Tue, Jun 12
Apr 13, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; A referee holds back Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (second from left) as a scuffle breaks out between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Therea€™s been a stray question here and there over the past couple of years, but the inquiries became more frequent and more pointed as the calendar turned to 2018.

What have you heard about Marcus Smart away from the court?

What kind of guy is he with his teammates?

How is he to you guys (media)?

Does he stay after practice and work?

Opposing scouts and personnel people higher on organizational charts wanted to know. They wanted as much information as possible.

Thata€™s generally been my indication over the years that a player is available in a trade, but that wasna€™t so much the case here as Februarya€™s deadline approached. As one GM put it, a€œHea€™s too valuable to Boston anyway, but you could never give them what theya€™d be looking for when the guya€™s going to be a free agent.a€

In this case, Smart will be aA restrictedA free agent, which gives the Celtics the opportunity to match any offer he receives in the marketplace. But this is more what the opponents had a€” and have a€” in mind.

And therein lies the who-knows-how-many-million-dollar question. Teams are wondering what they can offer that the Celts wona€™t match, but theya€™re also wondering how much is too much.

Danny Ainge is obviously hoping that the gold rush of recent years has dried up to a large extent and that Smart wona€™t attract a crazy bid. The prevailing thinking around the NBA is that there wona€™t be any Evan Turner deals (four years/$70 million) flying around.

Especially a€” and, again, this is Aingea€™s hope a€” not for a guy with career shooting percentages of .360 overall and .293 from 3-point range.

But, analytics be damned, everyone seems to covet a guy like Smart who plays so hard and brings out the same in his teammates. Ita€™s apparently not hard for even some of the top teams to picture the spark that Smart could give their rotation.

Read the complete news article here...
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