It’s a tale as old as time. Young player hits restricted free agency and expects a big contract. Team doesn’t offer contract and waits for market to set the price. Young player does not like the lack of interest he’s garnering and starts fuming in the media.
That sequence could describe almost any year in restricted free agency for a few players, but it is increasingly the case for this summer. We projected a tough free agent market for Marcus Smart in free agency here at Bostonsportsjournal.com weeks ago and that has been the case for the point guard and several other restricted free agents. Just five days after Smart hit the open market, sources close to the guard are already venting to the Boston Herald about a lack of interest from the Celtics, feeling ‘hurt and disgusted.’
While this type of conflict and Smart’s people negotiating through the media was entirely predictable, the question now for both sides to answer is: how will they resolve this situation without too much bad blood boiling over? This will be a drawn-out process in all likelihood, as both sides dig in but the free agent market has been set for guards to a degree over the first few days of free agency. Where does Smart fit into that equation? Let’s take a look at how his eventual deal might fit in with the ones already given out: