Does he have a justifiable case?
Marcus Smart is one of those players whose intangible qualities go unnoticed by the casual fan. Take his stat line in Yesterday's Game 7 loss as an example: 1-of-10 shooting, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range yet still managing a net-positive +2 differential while on the floor. Of course, Marcus Smart makes up for he lacks as a scorer, with tireless effort on the defensive end, as well as a willingness to stick up for his teammates, an aspect of his game that doesn't go unnoticed in the locker room. Does management feels the same way?
Following the Celtics' loss to the Cavaliers, Smart told ESPN's Jackie McMullan that he felt the "heart" he puts on display is hard to to "price gouge," if he were to get the raise he's been clamoring for. Boston can resort to offering him a $6.1 qualifying offer, well short of his self-assessment.
"To be honest, I'm worth more than 12-14 million, just for the things I do on the court that don't show up on the stat sheet. You don't find guys like that. I always leave everything on the court, every game. Tell me how many other players can say that."
Teammate Kyrie Irving is expected to make $20 Million next season, and the hope is that Marcus Smart will take home town discount to further his team's Championship prospects. He could decide to leverage his time and sign a cap-friendly deal with another postseason run under his belt in 2020 when he is set to become an unrestricted free agent, at which the Celtics' would be forced to make an important decision, if they haven't already.