The Celtics and guard Marcus Smart did not agree to a contract extension prior to Monday’s 6 p.m. deadline. According to a league source, both sides attempted to finalize a deal Monday but came up short.
Smart is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie-scale contract. He now will be a restricted free agent this summer, giving the Celtics the right to match any offer sheet he signs with another team. The Celtics remain high on Smart, their most tenacious defender, and they fully plan on keeping the 23-year-old in the fold for years to come.
By waiting until summer, the Celtics will have another year both to evaluate Smart as well as the rest of their team as they try to navigate the best path to a championship.
After last season the Celtics asked Smart to trim down a bit, and he responded by reshaping his diet and losing nearly 20 pounds. He has appeared to be in great shape this fall. The biggest knock on Smart is his jump shot. Although it is a very small sample size, the career 29.1 percent 3-point shooter at least showed signs of improvement during the preseason, when he made 7 of 12 shots from beyond the arc.