Marcus Smart on restricted free agency -- Worth more than $12M-$14M

Brad Stevens perfectly describes Marcus Smart's mentality

Smart said it was Ainge who has given him confidence he'll be back in Boston next season.

But Ainge has moved on from dozens of players they've loved more than Smart when it came time to pay them or when they thought they had priced themselves out of Boston's acceptable range.

The 24-year-old has been an integral player for the Celtics since being drafted in 2014, averaging 28.7 minutes per game so far in his career. "I want to be here, so that's the plan right now", said Smart. "Just for the things I do on the court that don't show up on the stat sheet". "I want to be here, I love the city, I love this team". I always leave everything on the court, every game. Next summer, the Celtics will need to take care of Kyrie Irving, who will be up for a max extension.

It's nearly unlikely, however, that they'll be willing to match any large offer he gets as they already have two max salary players in Al Horford and Gordon Hayward and will surely look to keep enough money on the books to re-sign Kyrie Irving when he becomes a free agent in 2019.

"I want him here all the time", Jackson said about Irving. I've been here for four years. When you think about how much better these young players can get, and the Celtics have something with their bench that no one else in the National Basketball Association has. "But in this league, you never know".

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"In Boston, our ownership group has been fantastic".

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. "At this time past year, I didn't think we would have 11 new players".

Speaking to reporters at the team's break-up press conference on Monday, including ESPN's Chris Forsberg, Celtics president Danny Ainge explained why Irving didn't watch the team lose to the Cavaliers in its bid to reach the NBA Finals.

The Celtics can make a qualifying offer of almost $6.1 million to Smart and can match any free-agent offer that is made by another team, but it's unlikely they will do so if the numbers climb too high.

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