I said I wouldn't be surprised not that I think it is likely. Smart's QO is 6.05M. He's not going to get much more than that this offseason. The biggest risk with taking the QO is injury.
Bullpett thinks Danny will re-sign him, especially since the market will be soft.I'd agree with that. I wouldn't be surprised if Smart takes his qualifying offer and tries again in 2019 free agency as a UFA when teams may have a bit more cap space.
Well I would. So much can happen in a year and taking the QO practically means your removing a year of your earning potential.
I think Smart and the Celts figure out a number that works for both parties and get the deal done.
One question is how much Ainge values Smart versus Rozier and Brown. With Hayward coming back, there will be 30+ minutes less to go around. Smart doesn't have Brown's upside and Rozier has another year on his rookie contract and is likely to be easier to be re-signed. Another question is Smart's ego. He's not going to start for us, his minutes are likely to get cut significantly and he's probably not going to get the offer he wants from Ainge (or probably any other team).
I think Smart's minutes will be safe if we resign him, especially due to his defensive versatility. There might be a 2-3 MPG drop when we are at full strength but injuries/rest will allow him to make up a portion of that during the course of an 82 game season. He has also stated multiple times that starting isn't important to him. Trading Morris and letting Baynes walk is a probable scenario if Smart is resigned. We could also keep Baynes and not offer the MLE to Monroe. However, I have a feeling that the Celtics like the idea of integrating Monroe with a healthy squad.
As much as I love Terry I wouldn't rule out him being traded if he continues to perform at a high level into the playoffs. I don't believe Danny wants to trade him but he might receive a great offer prior to the draft that makes makes sense given some of the cap restrictions of the team. It would be difficult for Danny to say no to a late lottery/mid 1st round pick. Those rookie deals are important.
Below is my take on next years optimal rotation with Smart and Terry back on the team. I didn't factor in anticipated injuries or blowout wins. My minutes distribution is entirely based upon an optimal regular season lineup against tough competition. Brad will want most of the starters to play roughly 30 MPG. The return of Hayward should tighten up the overall rotation. I skipped listing specific positions since Brad is always preaching position-less basketball. Starters
Kyrie - 30 MPG
Jaylen - 30 MPG
Hayward - 30 MPG
Tatum - 30 MPG
Horford - 30 MPGBench
Smart - 26 MPG
Rozier - 26 MPG
Theis/Monroe - 33 MPG
Semi/Yabusele/Draft Picks/Vet Free Agents - 5 MPG
This rotation works because of the versatility of Brown, Hayward, Tatum, Horford, and Smart.