According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, Sacramento is “preparing to put together an offer” for Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart after it failed to land Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
This comes after the Bulls announced Sunday they matched the four-year, $78 million contract offer sheet the Kings gave to LaVine this offseason.
Smart’s offensive prowess doesn’t stand out after he averaged just 10.2 points per game behind 36.7 percent shooting from the field and 30.1 percent shooting from deep last season, but his toughness, versatility and tenacity on the defensive side was a primary reason the Celtics overcame injuries to Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward and still reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
Opponents shot 3.8 percent worse than their normal averages from the field and 5.7 percent worse from three-point range when Smart guarded them in 2017-18, per NBA.com, and Boston’s defensive rating was 99.4 when he was on the floor and 103.0 when he was off it.
Adding someone like Smart, especially at 24 years old, would bolster a Kings roster that was a lackluster 27th in the league in defensive rating last season, per NBA.com.
The problem with going after restricted free agents, though, is the other team can match the offers, and Smart has been with the Celtics his entire career since they selected him with the No. 6 pick in the 2014 draft.
However, there has been some reported tension, as Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald cited a source who said Smart is “hurt and disgusted” by the lack of outreach from the Celtics’ front office this offseason.
If Boston is indeed ready to move on from Smart from a financial perspective, then Sacramento is apparently ready to add him to the roster.