Celtics, Smart agree to new contract

Sports

Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart (36) gestures to teammates late in the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

BOSTON (CBS) — Marcus Smart will be sticking around in Boston for the foreseeable future.

Smart and the Celtics have agreed to a four-year, $77.1 million contract extension.

Drafted by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in 2014, Smart has been a lightning rod of a player during his tenure in Boston. Most fans love him for his aggressive defense — earning him All-Defensive First Team nods in both 2017-18 and 2018-19– and penchant for big plays. Other factions have grown tired with his poor shot selection and occasional brain cramps. There doesn’t appear to be a middle ground when it comes to Marcus Smart.

But Smart has long been touted as the team’s heartbeat, and Brad Stevens made sure to lock him up before Marcus had a chance to hit free agency next summer. It’s a reasonable deal for a player that is so versatile and means so much to the Celtics. It’s also one that could be added to a sign-and-trade sometime down the road.

For now, the Celtics consider Smart a franchise building block along with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He’ll wear a Celtics uniform for the 8th straight year, longer than anyone else on the team.

In 2020, Smart averaged career-highs in points (13.2) and assists (5.7) while adding 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game to the mix. His overall shooting went up (39.8 percent), but he hit just 33 percent from three-point range, his lowest in four seasons.

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