Report: Smart, Celtics closing in on contract

The Boston Celtics are in serious talks with the agent for guard Marcus Smart, a restricted free agent, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The sides are said to be working on a four-year deal worth between $46-50 million.

Smart, 24, just completed his fourth season with the franchise and said he prefers to stay with the Celtics, who drafted him sixth overall in 2014. He also is fond of coach Brad Stevens and president Danny Ainge.

After the Celtics were ousted from the playoffs, Smart said he was worth in excess of $12-14 million per season.

Boston already has three players signed to megadeals in Al Horford, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

With the team limited in what it can do in free agency, Ainge said last week that Smart was the team’s key focus.

“Our priority remains the same,” said Ainge. “Our priority is still Marcus in free agency, and that’s where we are.”

Smart has averaged 9.4 points and 3.9 assists in 261 games (83 starts) over four seasons. Shooting has been an issue as he has hit just 36.0 percent of his field-goal attempts with his high mark being 36.7 (twice).

But Smart is highly valuable as a defender and has recorded 386 career steals. He is a fan favorite for his tenacious approach and hard-charging style of play.

Smart averaged 9.8 points and shot just 33.6 percent from the field in this past postseason, which ended one game shy of the NBA Finals with the 87-79 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the deciding game of the Eastern Conference finals. He scored four points on 1-of-10 shooting in Game 7.

–Field Level Media

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