Marcus Smart stays in Celtics
Marcus Smart and Boston Celtics agreed on a four-year contract worth $52 million.
The 24-year-old played last season at 10.2 points, 3.5 points, 4.8 assistants and 1.3 captures.
If the parties had not reached an agreement, Smart would have accepted a qualified offer for the upcoming games as a restricted free agent ($6 million) and would have negotiated with Celtics and other clubs in the summer of 2019 as a completely free agent.
Last summer, Celtics and Smart did not reach an agreement on the renewal of the contract. Happy Walters, the player’s agent, said famously then that the deadlock in the negotiations in the summer of 2018 would cost the club a lot from Boston. Walters also suggested that since the Celts were afraid to pay luxury tax, it might have been worth looking at the Hayward and Horford contracts earlier when they were built. To put it mildly, it was not elegant. It is said that on the negotiating table there was a four-year contract worth over $40 million.
Before the start of this year’s free agency, Smart confessed in one of the interviews that it is worth more than 12-14 million per game year. Because he was a reserved free agent, Celtom did not rush to offer him a contract. In any event, he himself hoped that the market would push up the price and put Boston in a position to face up to the fact that it had done so – whether or not to match the offer. Almost 20 days passed of free agency, no one concrete called with the proposal.
Why do I remind you of this?
I would like you to be aware that the NBA is a business that takes place on many levels. Fans usually think mainly about what’s on the dance floor. Maybe it’s good. But you also need to know that below the dance floor, lights and beautiful halls, it can be dark and dirty.
The same Happy Walters represented Nerlends Noel’s interests a year ago. Mavs, on his first day as a freelance agent, offered him a four-year contract worth $70 million. Noel and its agent rejected the offer. Mark Cuban finally took her off the table and Noel finally landed with an annual contract worth $4 million. This summer he joined Oklahoma, an annual contract for a minimum. So if you didn’t count it was like taking 30 bubbles, pouring petrol over them and setting them on fire. Mr Walters no longer represents Noel’s interests.
A year ago, four years later, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was offered a five-year contract by Pistons in Detroit worth $80 million. He and his agent said that it was not even close to the amount they were looking for. The maximum deal for KCP was then about $106 million. Finally, Mr. Caldwell-Pope landed in Lakers with a one-year contract for $17.7 million. This summer he agreed to stay at L.A. under an annual contract for $12 million. That is, $30 million in two years. There are still 50 million left in three years to make up for what Pistons had to offer. This is not impossible, but every injury will significantly reduce the market value of the CP. And let’s be honest – who is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to afford to reject those 80 million? His agent is Rich Paul, who also represents the interests of, among others, LeBron. But being a LeBron agent is another fairy tale. His interests could be represented by my hamster, which I do not have, but if I had, he would have come out of the negotiating talks with the same result as Mr Paul. With maximum contract, of course. When you have players from the top 10 of the league in your stable, then you can pretend to be a bumper, relax your muscles and play a big strategist. Talks usually relate to the duration of the contract, not to the maximum amounts. But even so, it is the player who dictates the conditions. The craft of an agent can be seen in the way he negotiates for his middle and low class clients. And yet there is the most of them in (every) league.