LAS VEGAS — The Marcus Smart situation could be resolved immediately.

The Boston Celtics could step in with a multiyear deal that suits their restricted free-agent guard, or another club could make him an offer beyond the current market value.

But don’t count on it. Sources indicate this may drag on for quite a while. Smart determined his worth to be more than what’s out there in this summer’s market, and the Celts are in no rush to bid against themselves.

It’s unclear even if the club is willing to revisit its extension offer from last fall (reported last week as four years at more than $12 million per season) or whether that would even work for Smart now.

He appears to be viewing his worth relative to others as a percentage, but that can be problematic, especially this summer. But with the cap expected to rise significantly in 2019, Smart is said to believe he’ll get what he feels is right. That could lead to him accepting the one-year qualifying offer of $6,053,719 for the chance to become an unrestricted free agent.

The risk is that while Smart indicated his playoff shooting woes were exacerbated by taking one for the team and returning too quickly from his thumb injury, another poor year from the floor or an injury (a possibility increased by his playing style) could give clubs pause before writing the type of check he wants. A number of general managers said if Smart has a bad year, he may never make up for what he lost by turning down the extension offer last fall.


Clearly the Celtics are more appreciative of Smart’s positives than disturbed by his shortcomings. His shot selection may be curious at times, and his NASCAR-in-sneakers approach could use a bit more discretion, but he’s their kind of crazy. I fully believe if Smart is allowed to slip away – an extremely remote chance given the Celts’ ability to match any offer – Brad Stevens would cross Danny Ainge off his Christmas card list.

If not for fiscal imperatives, Ainge would be happy to give Smart a pile of money and move on. But contracts don’t happen in a vacuum.

The Celts have to be concerned about how a longer deal for Smart could impact the ability to keep Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and even Kyrie Irving in the future.

The Celts will pay the luxury tax if Smart signs anything more than a qualifying offer, and willl be on the way to the onerous repeater tax if they’re over the threshold for three out of four years.

Ainge said repeatedly that his primary remaining task this offseason is getting Smart back. But he’s also aware that the on-court landscape could be changing this season.

Rozier has proven worthy of more than just the minutes Irving doesn’t use, and Tatum will still get his time even with Gordon Hayward returning. Brown is going nowhere. And what if Brad Wanamaker is this year’s version of Daniel Theis, able to step in from overseas and provide solid minutes at a low price? Is it possible Smart feels a bit of a squeeze?

Then again, the need for Smart could grow infinitely stronger next summer if Irving uses his opt-out to actually leave. And while we’ve said all along that his value may be greater to the Celts than other clubs, that could be even more true next year, and more expensive.

All that is known for sure is that Smart would like to stay a Celtic and the Celtics would like Smart to stay.

The question is whether they can agree on a multiyear deal or take the one-season solution and put the issue off until next summer.

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