It's been a tumultuous offseason full of question marks for Marcus Smart and the Boston Celtics. One of the many summer storylines was Smart's uncertain future with the team as the veteran guard was set to hit free agency in 2022.
The Celtics addressed that issue by signing their longest-tenured player to a four-year contract extension worth $77 million. With Kemba Walker gone, Smart now is expected to be the team's starting point guard during the 2021-22 season.
That's far from the only significant change for Boston heading into the new campaign. Brad Stevens has replaced Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations, Ime Udoka took over for Stevens as head coach, and several roster changes were made including the acquisitions of veteran big man Al Horford and guard Dennis Schroder.
Smart spoke during Celtics Media Day about his contract situation over the summer and the busy offseason as a whole.
"When you get into negotiating anything, there's always questions. It's part of the business," Smart said Monday. "I think a lot of things get taken out of sight when it comes to the game, it's a business first. You have to do things, say things or not do things or say things that you probably wouldn't or would when it comes to business status.
"But we're here, I'm excited to be back. I'm excited to be with this group of guys. I'm excited for a fresh start. Everything is a fresh start for us. That's kind of my mentality. With Brad moving on, with Ime coming in as the new coach, and just trying to figure out how we can get back to the team that we've been in the past."
The two-time All-Defensive First Team selection admitted the last few months were a whirlwind, but he and the team have turned the page and are focused on the road ahead.
"It was definitely different, it was a little uncertain, confusion, but I think we're kind of past that now and everything's kind of in stone," he said. "We're ready to rock and roll. The team that we have now is the team that we're gonna rock with. Everybody that's here, everybody that's back, everybody that left, we wish nothing but the best for."
The 2021-22 Celtics season is set to begin Oct. 20 when they visit Kemba Walker and the New York Knicks.
You can watch the entire Smart press conference from Celtics Media Day below: