Smart is Happy: 4/$52 Deal

Jimbodandy

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I have a question.
I hear that Smart should be in/was in to close out games. I witnessed it myself.
Down or up, Stevens seemed to want him in during the 4th.
That makes me think he is one of "the 5 best".
I get that his shooting sucks, but his defense and *intangibles are so good they seem to offset that.
If he is one of the "5 best", or at the very least you want him on that wall, need him on that wall in the 4th quarter with 5mins to play then dont you simply "want him". Especially for 12-13 million per?

All that said why couldnt he be a "starter"? I equate him a bit to Dennis Johnson on this team. A guy who makes big plays (mostly defensively) but chips in on offense.

If DJ was good enough to start back then wouldnt Smart be good enough now?
Granted you need Tatums, Browns and Kyries for the offensive load (like you needed Bird Mchales and Ainges).

All that said is Smart a "Starter level" player in the NBA? And if not then why is he considered at least a "Closer level" player.

Is it because we dont think he could keep up his "5 mins left in the 4th quarter" effort level for longer stretches of the game? Is it because he defers more to an alpha like Kyrie (Today) and Tatum (tomorrow) during that 4th quarter then he does the rest of the game?

I just cant wrap my head around the idea of him being "a closer" we want on the floor in the 4th (and by extension other important times) , and then being upset that he is making too much money (when its around 12 million).
The issue always comes down to "market".

I'm as big of a Marcus guy as you'll find, but it's not about "is this guy a top five player on our team?". It's not wrong to use that POV to put things in context, and I appreciate your take here. But in the end, defense-mostly guys tend to make much less money. That's the context which many of those questioning the price are considering.

I'm perfectly fine with the deal.
 

DannyDarwinism

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More than I thought he’d get but I’ve been convinced the trade value because of his contract size helps a lot in the future.
He's now the only guy making over 7 million and under 20 million per year on the team. His contract definitely provides some flexibility should an attractive trade option arise.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy watching him pester the shit out of opposing teams while likely torpedoing my last small sliver of hope that he'll ever become even a borderline competent shooter.
 

Jimbodandy

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You equate Marcus Smart to a Hall of Famer? You are underestimating DJ. DJ was way smarter offensive ballplayer than Smart, made the all-star team with the Celtics, and was first or second all-defense a bunch of times with Boston. Not the same guy.

Edit: A closer comp is probably ML Carr when he was on the Celtics.
Neither comp is good IMO
 

4 6 3 DP

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My only comfort in this deal is that the last signing like this he made that I hated was Avery Bradley and that contract looked good quickly.

If he continues to be a liability on the offensive end because he refuses to stop shooting, this is an overpay, if they can get him to play defense and limit his shots, this is a fair deal for a player they clearly value.
 

finnVT

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It feels like it might be a bit high, but I'm happy that he'll be on the team. Rozier's likely to leave one way or another soon-ish, and adding good players through FA is likely to get tricky over the next few years, so getting him locked up now seems like a solid move. Especially since I'm not paying the luxury tax bill in 2021.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He's now the only guy making over 7 million and under 20 million per year on the team. His contract definitely provides some flexibility should an attractive trade option arise.
Is this really true though? When a team is looking for contracts to make deals work they typically aren't looking for 3-4 years of an annual 8-figure deal to make numbers work.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Is this really true though? When a team is looking for contracts to make deals work they typically aren't looking for 3-4 years of an annual 8-figure deal to make numbers work.
I think for this specific roster it is, in that without Smart's contract a deal for a star player on a star contract would have to include Horford, Hayward or Kyrie. For a team looking to rebuild that would prefer a combo of Jaylen/Jayson/picks, Smart's contract is one more way you can get there.
 

jimv

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You equate Marcus Smart to a Hall of Famer? You are underestimating DJ. DJ was way smarter offensive ballplayer than Smart, made the all-star team with the Celtics, and was first or second all-defense a bunch of times with Boston. Not the same guy.

Edit: A closer comp is probably ML Carr when he was on the Celtics.
Let's not forget DJ was also finals MVP in 79. I like Marcus but he's not at that level. Disagree with the ML comp - he wouldn't see the floor in the last 5 minutes of important games

I'm with the others who feel this is a positive move, better for Smart to focus his competitiveness on the opponent rather than earning a new contract
 

lovegtm

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It feels like it might be a bit high, but I'm happy that he'll be on the team. Rozier's likely to leave one way or another soon-ish, and adding good players through FA is likely to get tricky over the next few years, so getting him locked up now seems like a solid move. Especially since I'm not paying the luxury tax bill in 2021.
Rozier's primary skills are 3-point shooting (including creating his own shot) and guard defense. The return of Hayward and the development of Brown/Tatum make the first one less important, and the latter just isn't that valuable in the league when not combined with at least 1-3 switchability, preferably 1-4.

His playmaking isn't great, and it's just as likely that Brown and Tatum will develop there as it is Rozier will.
 

lovegtm

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I think for this specific roster it is, in that without Smart's contract a deal for a star player on a star contract would have to include Horford, Hayward or Kyrie. For a team looking to rebuild that would prefer a combo of Jaylen/Jayson/picks, Smart's contract is one more way you can get there.
Not to sidetrack the thread, but we should probably start leaving Jayson out of these discussions. I don't think the Celtics would move him even if AD became available. Jaylen and Smart would likely be part of that package though.
 

finnVT

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Rozier's primary skills are 3-point shooting (including creating his own shot) and guard defense. The return of Hayward and the development of Brown/Tatum make the first one less important, and the latter just isn't that valuable in the league when not combined with at least 1-3 switchability, preferably 1-4.

His playmaking isn't great, and it's just as likely that Brown and Tatum will develop there as it is Rozier will.
Yeah, I wasn't lamenting it, just stating that it's likely. And given that, having Smart locked up helps, because someone will have to play minutes at guard.
 

cheech13

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You know, 538 has player comps available for Marcus Smart. I know people have legitimate issues with their projection system, but it's probably still a little bit better than the wild-assed guesses from a message board.

Here are his top 10 comps, FWIW:

1. Larry Hughes
2. Lionel Hollins
3. Aaron McKie
4. Mike Miller
5. Jay Humphries
6. Willie Anderson
7. Victor Oladipo
8. Fat Lever
9. Iman Shumpert
10. Dion Waiters

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/carmelo/marcus-smart/
 

lovegtm

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You know, 538 has player comps available for Marcus Smart. I know people have legitimate issues with their projection system, but it's probably still a little bit better than the wild-assed guesses from a message board.

Here are his top 10 comps, FWIW:

1. Larry Hughes
2. Lionel Hollins
3. Aaron McKie
4. Mike Miller
5. Jay Humphries
6. Willie Anderson
7. Victor Oladipo
8. Fat Lever
9. Iman Shumpert
10. Dion Waiters

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/carmelo/marcus-smart/
Based on the contents of that list, the bolded assumption may not be entirely accurate.
 

BigSoxFan

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Not to sidetrack the thread, but we should probably start leaving Jayson out of these discussions. I don't think the Celtics would move him even if AD became available. Jaylen and Smart would likely be part of that package though.
I'm not so sure. We're talking about a 25 year-old 28/11 guy with elite defensive skills. Nobody is off limits when you're talking about a guy like that.
 

lovegtm

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I'm not so sure. We're talking about a 25 year-old 28/11 guy with elite defensive skills. Nobody is off limits when you're talking about a guy like that.
I'm very happy to wager up to $100K at 3-1 odds that Jayson Tatum will not be traded in the next 3 years (to keep a reasonable time-frame).

Edit: the reasoning here is NOT that Tatum is likely to ever be as good as AD. It's that Tatum for AD would be about as close to 100 cents on the dollar as a team ever gets when trading a superstar, once you factor in age, untapped development, and team control.

NBA stars never really end up trading for anything close to 100 cents, simply because age, contract length, and lack of leverage are always key factors. The examples of this in the past 10 years are too numerous to need rehashing at this point. The most recent was a guy of the same age who, when healthy, was probably better than AD.
 
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bosox79

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Count me in with HRB re this contract. I just don't see him worth that kind of money for the role he plays. Here is hoping he improves his 3 point shot and lowers his TO%, which has increased 3% this past season to 18.6% despite his usage only going up .6%. I guess it's not a huge problem but I'm not sure he's the guy you want playing PG for 30 minutes a night. It's only a problem if he becomes the primary PG.
 

Devizier

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1. Larry Hughes
2. Lionel Hollins
3. Aaron McKie
4. Mike Miller
5. Jay Humphries
6. Willie Anderson
7. Victor Oladipo
8. Fat Lever
9. Iman Shumpert
10. Dion Waiters
Hughes, Miller, Humphries, Oladipo, Lever, and Waiters seem like terrible comps for one reason or another.

I would think in terms of player type a list should include guys like Clownshoes, Nate Macmillan, Ronnie Brewer, Doug Christie .. but only Macmillan of that list had point skills, which is why I go with him, despite his (in actuality) significant differences with Smart.
 

lovegtm

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How many of those contracts were these teams tying to dump within 2 years? Paying above MLE for complementary players has historically been a losing bet. I wonder how long before Marcus gains back his contact weight while shooting 28% from 3 as Heinsohn is calling him "fat" again? This isn't a risk free deal.
Turns out the performance incentives in the final contract are "don't be fat."
 

RorschachsMask

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Last year his shot from 16-23 feet was by far a career high at 37%, if he can get his 3PT% to 35, 13 million is a steal.

He also had by far his best season finishing at the rim. Considering even with him shooting 30% from 3 and the high turnovers that they were still better on offense with him in than not, if he cleans up his turnovers and hits a few more open shots this will be a fantastic deal.
 

OurF'ingCity

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It feels like it might be a bit high, but I'm happy that he'll be on the team. Rozier's likely to leave one way or another soon-ish, and adding good players through FA is likely to get tricky over the next few years, so getting him locked up now seems like a solid move. Especially since I'm not paying the luxury tax bill in 2021.
Yeah, this is where I come out too. Does feel like a bit of an overpay and I would have been fine had he come back on the QO, but I guess we don't know what other offers might have been out there (formally or informally). Plus, as others have said, bringing Smart back on the QO would likely have guaranteed his departure next season when they will very likely need his services more than this coming season (due to the departures of Rozier, Kyrie, or both).
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm very happy to wager up to $100K at 3-1 odds that Jayson Tatum will not be traded in the next 3 years (to keep a reasonable time-frame).

Edit: the reasoning here is NOT that Tatum is likely to ever be as good as AD. It's that Tatum for AD would be about as close to 100 cents on the dollar as a team ever gets when trading a superstar, once you factor in age, untapped development, and team control.

NBA stars never really end up trading for anything close to 100 cents, simply because age, contract length, and lack of leverage are always key factors. The examples of this in the past 10 years are too numerous to need rehashing at this point. The most recent was a guy of the same age who, when healthy, was probably better than AD.
Sure, it's obvious that Tatum will not be traded because there are only a handful or less players worth trading him for since he's a soon-to-be elite player on a rookie deal but that wasn't my point. Anthony Davis isn't getting traded any time soon either. Right now, he has 3 years left on his deal and has expressed no issues with remaining in New Orleans. Most of the disgruntled star situations occur with less time remaining on their contracts and other negative factors that depress their value so they are not analogous to Anthony Davis' current situation. If prime AD with 3 years on his contract quietly became available this very moment, I don't think anyone on the Celtics would be off limits for Danny, not even Tatum. Others may disagree.
 

snowmanny

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Let's not forget DJ was also finals MVP in 79. I like Marcus but he's not at that level. Disagree with the ML comp - he wouldn't see the floor in the last 5 minutes of important games
I’ll concede that ML isn’t a great comp, but maintain it’s closer than DJ. Also ML played plenty of important minutes in the 1981 title run, including closing out game 7 vs Philly.
 

GoDa

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He's signed for the prime of his career. He's happy. I'm happy. Glad to have him back!

His shooting % are even trending up for 3 straight years! If he could just be a little smarter about his shot selection - he could probably keep that trend going.
 

Manzivino

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Aside from dumping Morris, they can also get under the luxury tax threshold by trading Yabusele and waiving Nader (either for a $450k hit this year or $65k for the next 7 if they pick up his non-guaranteed 2020-21 option and the stretch him). Given the long odds of Yabu becoming a useful player and Nader's general terribleness, that's my preferred route.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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When an athlete is sick do they just automatically send them to the hospital to be safe? Hope he's ok.
 

lovegtm

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Aside from dumping Morris, they can also get under the luxury tax threshold by trading Yabusele and waiving Nader (either for a $450k hit this year or $65k for the next 7 if they pick up his non-guaranteed 2020-21 option and the stretch him). Given the long odds of Yabu becoming a useful player and Nader's general terribleness, that's my preferred route.
Yeah, this is probably easier than getting value for Morris, with the exception that JakeRae mentioned of Denver. He makes a lot of sense for Denver this year, and the Celtics would almost certainly not face the Nuggets in the finals.
 

Saints Rest

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He's signed for the prime of his career. He's happy. I'm happy. Glad to have him back!

His shooting % are even trending up for 3 straight years! If he could just be a little smarter about his shot selection - he could probably keep that trend going.
Is there a way to see splits for a person's shooting pct (or other stats) based on who he is playing with? It may end up carving the pie into sample sizes too small to be worthy, but I wonder how many of his "ill-advised" shots come during those times when he was on the court with some combo of Larkin, Rozier, Baynes, MaMo, Monroe, Theis, etc. How does his usage and stats change when he plays mostly with the starting 5? Considering that they will start the season with 5 guys who can create and score at high levels, a number that the Celts haven't had in years, perhaps Smart's stats will improve. We have to remember that for much of the season:
  • there was no Kyrie
  • there was no Hayward (pretty much 99.999%)
  • JB hadn't morphed into playoff JB
  • Scary Terry was just scary Terry
  • JT hadn't taken it to the next level (I like to consider his arc as "stuffed by LBJ" to "posterizing LBJ"
 

OurF'ingCity

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Is there a way to see splits for a person's shooting pct (or other stats) based on who he is playing with? It may end up carving the pie into sample sizes too small to be worthy, but I wonder how many of his "ill-advised" shots come during those times when he was on the court with some combo of Larkin, Rozier, Baynes, MaMo, Monroe, Theis, etc. How does his usage and stats change when he plays mostly with the starting 5? Considering that they will start the season with 5 guys who can create and score at high levels, a number that the Celts haven't had in years, perhaps Smart's stats will improve. We have to remember that for much of the season:
  • there was no Kyrie
  • there was no Hayward (pretty much 99.999%)
  • JB hadn't morphed into playoff JB
  • Scary Terry was just scary Terry
  • JT hadn't taken it to the next level (I like to consider his arc as "stuffed by LBJ" to "posterizing LBJ"
Even if this isn't something publicly available, you can bet the Celtics keep track of it, plus the qualitative feedback they get from Stevens and the coaching staff. I think this contract proves that the Celtics front office thinks Smart will be the same player he's been the past few years at a minimum, with a chance to improve and/or be used slightly more sparingly in situations that maximize his good qualities and minimize his bad ones.
 

benhogan

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As much as I thought the QO made fiscal sense, the Smart deal helps insure against Kyrie 2019 FA:
1. If Kyrie's knee continues to degenerate they avoid maxing KI out
2. If Kyrie is lights out and decides to take his talents to MSG

Also, suspect Danny checked in with Terry's agent over the last few weeks to see his level of interest/price in extending.
 
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mcpickl

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next question: Which competitive Western Conference team has a trade exception that can take MaMo?

We're going to miss him. Another underrated, great pick-up by Danny at the time. He added a mature/veteran nastiness to a team full of 'nice guy' vets (Horford, Kyrie, Gordon). Marcus also added bench scoring and a big wing which helped defend Simmons/Giannis/Lebron types.
I think the only teams with a big enough exception to currently fit Morris are Denver, Detroit, Portland, Cleveland and Charlotte. Sacramento could fit him into cap space and OKC should have one big enough after Carmelo trade as well.

I would try to move Morris now, but more because he likely won't get enough minutes than ducking the tax.

The NBA rules on this are so dumb, that you don't get charged for what you've paid of a players salary, but just the salaries that end the season on your roster.

The Celtics could move Morris right now, or in December or on trade deadline day, and he'd count zero towards computing their total salaries counting towards the tax.

It's a strange loophole.
 

HomeRunBaker

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You have to give HRB and the others some time to grieve. This summer has destroyed all their hopes and dreams.
I'm not grieving at all as Smart was always going to be on this years team once the RFA money went elsewhere. We are a better team right now with him on the second unit than without him.....which would have still occurring without committing an additional $46m to his deal which is the basis for my issues with the deal. My concerns were from a business standpoint of being stuck with an awful contract should be go all Sully or Yabu on us which he has showed signs being capable to do so.

I don't understand this talk of Smart being Kyrie insurance as he's never going to be a full-time starting PG. If Kyrie leaves our starting PG is going to be Rozier...….the Kyrie insurance is that Rozier was not traded this summer.
 

lovegtm

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I'm not grieving at all as Smart was always going to be on this years team once the RFA money went elsewhere. We are a better team right now with him on the second unit than without him.....which would have still occurring without committing an additional $46m to his deal which is the basis for my issues with the deal. My concerns were from a business standpoint of being stuck with an awful contract should be go all Sully or Yabu on us which he has showed signs being capable to do so.

I don't understand this talk of Smart being Kyrie insurance as he's never going to be a full-time starting PG. If Kyrie leaves our starting PG is going to be Rozier...….the Kyrie insurance is that Rozier was not traded this summer.
If Kyrie leaves, Hayward is healthy, and Tatum or Brown develop more as creators, I could see them forgoing a traditional PG altogether.
 

HomeRunBaker

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If Kyrie leaves, Hayward is healthy, and Tatum or Brown develop more as creators, I could see them forgoing a traditional PG altogether.
That would place someone in awkward situations of defending opponents PG's as well as someone in unnatural positions of advancing the ball upcourt vs 1's. I don't see this happening at all. We saw how challenging it was during those months prior to acquiring Isaiah a few years to get into our offensive sets without the ballhandler being able to get to his spots with his dribble in the frontcourt to properly initiate the offense.
 

benhogan

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I don't understand this talk of Smart being Kyrie insurance as he's never going to be a full-time starting PG. If Kyrie leaves our starting PG is going to be Rozier...….the Kyrie insurance is that Rozier was not traded this summer.
Agreed. If Kyrie leaves next year, they bring back Rozier to start. Signing Smart long-term softens the potential Kyrie leaving blow. Rozier + Marcus PG combo still competes for Championships.

This core 7 rotation (Tatum, Brown, Hayward, Kyrie, Horford, Rozier, Smart) is special. I suspect Danny wants as much continuity as possible going forward. OR he would have just gone mid-evil on Marcus and made him sign the QO and risked losing 2 of the core 7 next off-season. Now Danny should be confident that he will only lose 1 of those core 7.

In future years Danny can cost-effectively fill out the rest of the roster with:
1. Semi, RobWill, Bird
2. the many 1st round draft picks coming up
3. underappreciated Euro players (Theis, Larkin, Wanamaker)
4. cheapening, yet effective BIGs (Baynes)
5. young, undrafted free agents
6. G-League all-stars
7. purchase the occasional 2nd rounder
8. AND veteran ring chasers.
 
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bowiac

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Is there a way to see splits for a person's shooting pct (or other stats) based on who he is playing with? It may end up carving the pie into sample sizes too small to be worthy, but I wonder how many of his "ill-advised" shots come during those times when he was on the court with some combo of Larkin, Rozier, Baynes, MaMo, Monroe, Theis, etc. How does his usage and stats change when he plays mostly with the starting 5? Considering that they will start the season with 5 guys who can create and score at high levels, a number that the Celts haven't had in years, perhaps Smart's stats will improve. We have to remember that for much of the season:
  • there was no Kyrie
  • there was no Hayward (pretty much 99.999%)
  • JB hadn't morphed into playoff JB
  • Scary Terry was just scary Terry
  • JT hadn't taken it to the next level (I like to consider his arc as "stuffed by LBJ" to "posterizing LBJ"
nbawowy!
 

Pxer

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I think the only teams with a big enough exception to currently fit Morris are Denver, Detroit, Portland, Cleveland and Charlotte. Sacramento could fit him into cap space and OKC should have one big enough after Carmelo trade as well.

I would try to move Morris now, but more because he likely won't get enough minutes than ducking the tax.

The NBA rules on this are so dumb, that you don't get charged for what you've paid of a players salary, but just the salaries that end the season on your roster.

The Celtics could move Morris right now, or in December or on trade deadline day, and he'd count zero towards computing their total salaries counting towards the tax.

It's a strange loophole.
I didn't realize that. I think it's very likely MaMo doesn't get moved until mid-season if this is the case.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I didn't realize that. I think it's very likely MaMo doesn't get moved until mid-season if this is the case.
There is no reason to rush moving MaMo for luxury tax purposes until the trade deadline. As was mentioned upthread, there are other ways to get below the tax unless Team MaMo really forces Danny's hand to move him (they really should in a contract year and limited role).
 

OurF'ingCity

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They still have the full non-taxpayer MLE as well as the BAE available.
Sportrac is pretty good at keeping this all up to date
With their current payroll they cannot use the full non-taxpayer MLE because doing so would bring them well over the "apron," which is around $129.8 million this year and they are currently at around $126.7 million. They could trade Morris to free up room but as others have indicated they would likely do that to get under the luxury tax, not to allow them to sign anyone else. I think you are basically looking at what the team is going to look like on opening day at this point.