Celtics

Smart likely to sign qualifying offer to return to Celtics

Smart likely to sign qualifying offer to return to Celtics

LAS VEGAS – While no deal is imminent, two NBA officials whose teams have had some level of interest in Marcus Smart are getting a strong sense that he will sign the $6.1 million qualifying offer made by the Celtics and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019.

His restricted free agent status has been the main reason why teams have been reluctant to give Smart an offer sheet, fearful that the Celtics will match it, according to one official.

Recent reports indicate Smart has not been pleased by the lack of reaching out by the Celtics to get a deal done.

From the Celtics’ perspective, they have maintained throughout this process that they want to have Smart back next season, but they want to do it relative to what his market value is.

And right now, because he has yet to receive an offer sheet from another team, the Celtics are waiting for that shoe to drop and then proceed. The other issue for the Celtics is the luxury tax, something they would be extremely close to exceeding depending on how much they pay Smart.

Celtics ownership has shown in past years a willingness to exceed the luxury tax if it meant the difference between being a title contender or not.

And there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that having Smart back next season will strengthen Boston’s chances at getting to the NBA Finals. But the Celtics don’t want to start the repeater luxury-tax clock sooner than they have to, or significantly overpay, which is why they are just as eager as Smart and his camp are to see what another team is willing to pay for the 6-foot-4 guard's services.

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NBA Draft rumors live: Will Celtics swing trade for high draft pick?

NBA Draft rumors live: Will Celtics swing trade for high draft pick?

Hold onto your butts, Boston Celtics fans.

You've already endured an eventful week reading reports that both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are expected to sign elsewhere in free agency.

But there will be more change on the way in Thursday's 2019 NBA Draft, where the Celtics own a total of four picks, including three in the top 22.

Those assets give Boston the option of either swinging a draft-night trade -- a strong possibility, per the latest reports -- or loading up on talent to complement young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

So, what's the latest scuttlebutt on the Celtics' plans? We're tracking all of the news, rumors and reports right here between now and 8 p.m. ET. (All times Eastern.)

3:20 p.m.: Could 2017 No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson be on the move? Both the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns could be open for business tonight, per SNY's Ian Bagley.

2:20 p.m.: Oregon's Bol Bol comes with an injury red flag, but it appears the Celtics are willing to take a flier on him.

12:40 p.m.: Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer reports there's interest in picks 20 through 23. Guess who owns picks 20 and 22?

12:38 p.m.: A note from earlier: ESPN's Jeff Goodman lays out what the Pelicans may want in return for the No. 4 overall pick.

11:30 a.m.: Keep a close eye on the third and fourth overall picks, as the Celtics' reported interest in Darius Garland could prompt them to make a move.

10:55 a.m.: The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly are one of five teams pursuing Al Horford...

10:22 a.m.: The Celtics reportedly are one team that could trade for Wizards star Bradley Beal, but ESPN's John Goodman doesn't see Washington moving him.

10:05 a.m.: The trades already have begun, as Golden State and Atlanta reportedly have swung a deal.

The Hawks have a host of draft assets and reportedly could compete with the Celtics for the New Orleans Pelicans' No. 4 overall pick.

9:10 a.m.: And so it begins... The C's reportely are putting Aron Baynes on the trade block as they eye extra cap space.

8:45 a.m. ET: We told you to prepare for an eventful day... ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday night he expects "an extraordinary amount of trades" in this year's draft, with Boston in the thick of the action.

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2019 NBA Draft live stream: How to watch all 60 picks online

2019 NBA Draft live stream: How to watch all 60 picks online

Zion Williamson and Ja Morant look like locks at No. 1 and No. 2.

After that? All bets are off at the 2019 NBA Draft.

An intriguing draft kicks off Thursday at 8 p.m. ET from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as several teams have important decisions to make about their futures.

The Boston Celtics are among those clubs, as they must decide whether to use all of their three first-round picks or package them in a draft night trade.

It should be a fascinating evening, and NBC Sports Boston will have you covered throughout with our Celtics Draft Special starting at 7:30 p.m. ET and continuing during the draft.

ESPN will air the draft itself, with the first pick expected shortly after 8 p.m. ET.

Here's how to watch the 2019 NBA Draft online:

When: Thursday, June 20, 8 p.m. ET
Celtics Draft Special live stream: NBC Sports Boston
2019 NBA Draft live stream: WatchESPN

Full 2019 NBA Draft order >>
Latest NBA Draft trades, rumors >>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.