This offseason, new Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens made quite a few moves. One of them was extending Marcus Smart on a four-year, $77M deal.

But Smart had a different number in mind, and it wasn’t $77M.

“At least $90 million,” Smart told Jay King of The Athletic.

Now, Smart’s extension was a max contract. So, the Celtics wouldn’t have been able to offer any higher. He could have tested free agency next summer, or waited until next summer to get more money. Instead, he chose to take a safer deal, although it ends up having less upside.

“For me, it was, I’ve gotta get paid,” Smart said. “I’ve gotta get mine. Everybody else in my position that I’ve dominated are getting theirs. And it’s like, I know I do way more than these guys. I’m on a better team as well. So it’s like, what’s going on? I was actually willing to go straight into free agency and go to the market. But just talking to my circle, my family, my people and just understanding the pros versus the cons, the good versus the bad and things like that. What are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to gain? So it was a business decision. Especially with the way everything’s going with COVID and everything, nothing’s for sure, nothing’s guaranteed. So I wanted to make sure I give myself a shot for another payday eventually by taking care of business on this one. So it was a business decision for me.”

(Photo of Marcus Smart by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

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