I think this is the contract that pushes the Celtics to wait for free agency with Smart. I donít think the Celtics will be willing to commit to more than $15 million to him next year at this point, given their potential tax situation. That would put an extention in the $60-66 million range.
If Smart blows up this year and becomes a star, you enjoy the benefit to the team and figure out how to fit the money in next summer (itís doable if the Lakers pick doesnít convey). If he continues to be the useful, non-star player heís been so far, at best you keep him for the $12-15 million range, and maybe you get a 5th year out of it thanks to Bird rights. Otherwise you likely get him for one more year at his qualifying offer and avoid the luxury tax for one final season. Since the Celtics can credibly match most non-max offers, Smart will probably find himself in the same situation as RFAís did this summer.
The downside is he takes enough of a step forward to command a speculative max offer next summer from another team, without having improved enough for the Celtics to significantly benefit this season. Dallas is the team to watch for next summer, since theyíll have a lot of money to spend and the hometown connection with Smart.