Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
When the severity of the injury Smart suffered while diving for a loose ball last Sunday night against Indiana became more clear, there was talk he could miss the rest of the season. Even harsher was the fact that, as a restricted free agent this summer, it raised the possibility he’d played his last game as a Celtic.
But that’s a highly unlikely scenario. Barring a blow-out-the-budget offer from another club, the Celts seem very much prepared to match anything Smart will attract in the marketplace. This summer’s market will clearly be softened by all the big contracts handed out after the new television deals spiked the salary cap. And that may yield only the mid-level exception (some $8.5 million for non-taxpaying teams, and somewhere in the $5 million-plus range for teams in the luxury tax).
But Smart could easily get more than that, and the belief here is that the Celts would be willing to match anything into the mid-teens to keep him.
Smart’s best shot at receiving big money (at least, big money by the modern NBA’s standards) might have been a big second-half-of-the-season/postseason performance this year, and prior to this latest news, he was making progress. The Celtics were terrible when he sat before the All-Star break, but when he returned, order seemed to be restored. The team’s staff certainly wasn’t pleased by the nature of his first hand injury, but that was in part because of how significantly he affects the team. The Celtics need Smart’s on-ball toughness combined with his positional versatility — enabled by his strength — and his absurdly high defensive IQ. Even as a sub-30 percent career 3-point shooter, he makes the Celtics better.
A lengthy postseason run might have driven exactly how helpful Smart is home for potential suitors in free agency, and that option is still in play. As Wojnarowski noted, the Celtics (and, presumably, Smart) are hoping he returns to help in the later rounds. But if Smart misses the rest of the season — or if the Celtics bow out before he returns — he might have a hard time getting a big offer. That could be good news for the Celtics (who would likely prefer to keep him on a team-friendly deal) but bad news for Smart.
So, yeah, the injuries have just stunk this year (and I thought last year’s injuries were bad), but as Tom & Steve point out, losing Marcus for the rest of the regular season and a chunk of the post season might not be all bad for the Celtics, long term.
Marcus is a glue guy par excellence. So just what are glue guys worth these days?
I mean, his offensive game is, by now, probably more or less what it’s going to be–in short, you’re not going to build a contender around him. Nor, if you’re one of the NBA’s middle/middle teams for whom (apparently) mere existence is sufficient and a winning record is a bonus, are you going to be able to sell many tickets or build any hype around him.
It’s conceivable that a team might throw a $15 million godfather offer on the table for him, but what team is in a position to do that and run by people who appreciate Marcus Smart’s skills and have a need for that kind of a player.
Rather than take a leap this year in the areas that most teams pay for (availability and offense), Marcus kept missing open shots, then punched a piece of hotel artwork that offended his aesthetic sensibilities and then tore a ligament in his thumb.
I think the Celtics will be able to keep him around for something like the MLE or a bit more $8-10 million. Ultimately, that helps the team balance an awkward period where they’ve got three guys on really expensive contracts (I’m anticipating Horford takes a discount on his next deal).
Page 2: What?
Glen “Big Baby” Davis, former NBA player best known for his role on the 2008 championship Boston Celtics, was arrested at a Hampton Inn in Aberdeen last month.
According to court records, the hotel owner smelled marijuana coming from Davis’ room on February 7th.
When the owner knocked on room 208, someone inside the room told him to “F*@# off!”
Aberdeen police then responded to the hotel and Davis gave signed consent to search his room
“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” said Aberdeen Police Lieutenant William Reiber, “In addition to that there was a brief case that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”
The ledger was of names of people of who owed money along with baggies for individual packaging of a quarter pound of marijuana.
The strains were called “Sour D” and “Berry,” all from a Los Angeles wholesaler court records show Davis told police he was in business with.
It all resulted Davis’ arrest followed by an indictment weeks later on seven counts of drug possession and distribution.
Might have to scratch another name off the championship reunion cruise this summer.
Finally: UMBC makes history delicious (well, kind of).
Two days into the NCAA Tournament and it’s already shaping up to be the best ever.
There has been no shortage of great plays and incredible upsets.
The biggest of the big upsets came Friday night when the University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the first 16th seed in men’s tournament history to knock off a No. 1 seed. The Retrievers won 74-54 over Virginia, and won free pizza for everyone.
h/t KC Star
And, the guy on the UMBC official account had a blast:
The rest of the links
Boston Herald: Terry Rozier, Greg Munroe bust up Magic