Danny Ainge says Celtics' top priority is Marcus Smart

Annette Crawford
July 12, 2018

But the Celtics - be it Ainge or head coach Brad Stevens - both have said they would like the restricted free agent back next season.

Celtics guard Marcus Smart is garnering interest from multiple teams, according to the Boston Globe. The combo guard has been on the market a bit longer than many teams expected, and on Tuesday, former Boston Herald reporter Mark Murphy said that President Danny Ainge and Smart had a phone call to touch base, but no deal was offered. Boston would be able to match whatever offer Smart receives.

Smart just wrapped up his fourth season in the National Basketball Association, averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 steals, but continued his four-year trend of shooting below 37 percent from the field over the course of the season. He was limited to 54 games due to hand injuries, which included needing surgery on a torn thumb ligament.

In his four seasons in Boston, Smart has averaged 9.4 points, 3.9 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 36.0 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from 3-point range. He has backed up Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in Boston. But his offers over the past two years to Miami's Tyler Johnson, Portland's Allen Crabbe, Houston's Donatas Motiejunas and Washington's Otto Porter Jr. were all matched (although the Nets were eventually able to aquire Crabbe in a trade).

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