The Celtics have tendered a qualifying offer to guard Marcus Smart, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets. The 24-year-old will now head into July as a restricted free agent, giving Boston first right of refusal in the event that he lands an offer sheet from another team.
Smart stands to draw interest on the market, although the number of teams with enough cap space to land him will be limited.
If Smart doesn’t like what he hears when free agency begins, he can sign the qualifying offer, worth $6MM for 2018/19, and then take another chance on the open market as an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Smith adds in a subsequent tweet that Smart’s cap hold until he inks a new contract will be $13.6MM.
Smart averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 assists per game for the Celtics this season and has established himself as a gritty guard capable of contributing to a contender.
Smith adds that the club decided not to tender a qualifying offer to Jonathan Gibson, freeing him to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.