Marcus Smart's agent tears into Celtics for failing to agree to extension

Marcus Smart's agent tears into Celtics for failing to agree to extension

Happy Walters, the agent for Celtics guard Marcus Smart, was not living up to his name after the Celtics could not come to terms on a long-term extension for his client, who will become a restricted free agent next summer as a result, before Monday’s deadline.

“[Celtics owner] Wyc [Grousbeck] doesn’t want to pay the tax,” Walters told The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy of the impasse on a new deal between Smart and the Celtics. “They’re into the tax already with three guys who make $30 million a year. If they want someone to take a discount, maybe it should be someone who has already made $150 million in their career, not someone who is just up and coming.”

Walters is of course referencing the Celtics’ new Big Three, which features two max-contract players in Al Horford and Gordon Hayward, and the well-paid Kyrie Irving, and the holding pattern it puts the rest of Boston’s roster in as a result.

“How long is that window going to last? Those guys have gone to Boston with the expectation they’re going to get better,” Walters noted, “Al [Horford] is getting older. They’ll have to figure out what they want to do with Kyrie [Irving] again.”

While the comments made by Walters have the fire of somebody feeling pure disrespect from the Celtics, it’s worth noting that Smart was not the only notable member of the 2014 draft class to end the deadline without a new deal, as Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon are among those that will also be restricted free agents in 2018 after failing to agree to extensions with their teams on Monday. But Walters was quick to note that his client was not seeking the kind of rookie-max deals inked by the Sixers’ Joel Embiid or Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins (both were signed to five-year, $144 million contracts), which makes his frustration with the Celtics completely valid in his mind.

“We’re being really reasonable,” he said. “Whatever we can work out, we’ll work out.”

The C’s reluctance on a new deal with Smart is not a shock, as the sides did not get in communication on a new deal until late last week, and it’s in line with how they’ve operated in recent years, with long-term flexibility remaining on their mind. The Celtics, as previously and repeatedly noted, also want to see if Smart can improve his shot, and if his offseason weight loss actually does make him more of a consistent, premier defender, which is something he claimed it would do when he returned to Boston last month.

But if all that happens, there will not be a hometown discount coming Boston’s way.

“It will cost them a lot more then, I can tell you that,” Walters said.



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