Jackie MacMullan via ESPN

Smart, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, was told that Boston might not be able -- or willing -- to afford the $12-14 million a year price tag that he reportedly has been seeking.

"To be honest, I'm worth more than 12-14 million," Smart told ESPN. "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."

Smart struggled with his shot on Sunday, and while that's not something new, he does have an excuse this time in his thumb.

My thumb is killing me. My whole right hand hurts.

The reality is that Smart brings a ton to the table. Yeah his shot can be a pain, but it wasn't a coincidence that the team struggled to win when he was out hurt and made it to Game 7 of the ECF once he returned. This isn't a James Posey free agent situation where Danny Ange let our 6th man go, knowing he'd decline as the years went by. Smart just turned 24 this spring. He should still be getting better and will be in this league for another decade.

It's somewhat similar to the Tony Allen free agency of 2010, but Tony Allen wasn't near the player during his Boston tenure that Smart was. Is Smart worth 12-14 million? Well nobody is worth their NBA contracts, but in NBA reality yes he is. The key is whether the Celtics will be willing to pay that price to keep him. Smart would have to sacrifice the chance at a starting gig if he stayed in Boston, but I think he would do just that as long as he felt he wasn't getting short changed financially. Smart has seen the Celtics let Evan Turner sign in Portland and Kelly Olynyk in Miami, so he's right not to assume the Celtics will pay up.

Would be a major loss for the Celtics if Smart leaves. Hopefully they can find a common ground.

JR 5/28/2018 06:01:00 PM Edit
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