JULY 11, 7:44am: The Nets are among the teams to meet with Smart in Las Vegas, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. However, Lewis is skeptical of Brooklyn’s willingness to do an aggressive offer sheet for the veteran guard, noting that the team has less than $11MM in cap room available and has been trying to avoid taking on salary beyond 2018/19.
JULY 10, 3:56pm: As he continues to seek a new deal, restricted free agent guard Marcus Smart met with two teams on Monday in Las Vegas and is meeting with two more on Tuesday, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. That group of teams includes clubs from both conferences, per Himmelsbach’s source.
There have been conflicting reports in recent weeks on Smart’s asking price and on which teams might be interested in him. According to Himmelsbach, a source familiar with the negotiations said that the Celtics guard is open to a multiyear contract worth less than $15MM per season. Smart’s price tag may have come down since free agency began, since he said in the spring that he believed he was worth more than $12-14MM per year.
As for potential suitors, the Kings were said on Monday to be preparing an offer sheet for Smart, but a report out of Sacramento this morning disputed that notion. A league source tells Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) that the Kings don’t have interest in making a play for the 24-year-old.
If the Kings are really out on Smart, it’s not clear which club represents his best chance for an offer sheet. While the Hawks and Bulls still have cap room available, neither team has been linked to him. The Nets could also have enough room to put together an offer sheet after buying out Dwight Howard, but they have a backcourt logjam of their own and wouldn’t be able to offer more than about $11MM without additional roster moves.
Smart could try to negotiate a new deal with the Celtics, but a source close to the player tells Himmelsbach that Smart’s camp had no further talks with Boston on Monday. The C’s seemingly prefer to let Smart find an offer sheet, with the intention of matching any offer within reason. If no offer sheet emerges, the former sixth overall pick may simply sign his one-year qualifying offer.