Marcus Smart's 4-year/$52 million contract looking more-and-more like a bargain

Danny Ainge signing Marcus Smart last year to a 4-year-$52 million contract was criticized by a few as a mistake - meaning too much money, and too many years for a player with limited offensive skills. That thinking may be changing right now.


Marcus seems to get everybody's respect when it comes to his ferocious defense and never taking a play off. Well, after four games this season, that defense appears to have improved even more, and his offense has come around remarkably. Starting in the 2015-16 season his field goal percentage has steadily improved from 34.8% to 42.2% (last season). Same with his 3-point shooting, going from 25.3% in 2015-16 to 36.4% last season.


Both Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward are signed this season for $32.7 million, compared to Smart's $12.0 million. Marcus is slated to earn $12.9 million next season and $13.8 million in 2021-22. In last night's comeback victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, Marcus was all but indispensable for his determined defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo and his offensive output. Smart's steal, drive and slam in the third period was the turning point for a Celtics team down by 13 points at that juncture.


Marcus almost always get the defensive assignment against the other team's star player - and he truly gets into their heads. Smart's tenacity on the defensive end is his calling card, and that is one reason why I never wanted to picture him going to another team and defending his former teammates. That didn't happen, and Danny Ainge made another solid deal by inking Marcus to the 4-year deal at bargain money.



Last year, coach Brad Stevens asked Boston sports writers to get out some pieces on Marcus, but I never needed the prod. I love this guy, and so do most Celtics fans. Yes, welcome back, Marcus. We love you!

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook

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