NBA Rumors: JR Smith, Jahlil Okafor not appealing to Boston Celtics

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Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics Photo courtesy: Aaron Frutman/Wikimedia Commons

JR Smith is the only worthy free agent left in the market but the Cleveland Cavaliers have not re-signed him yet. Jahlil Okafor has been mentioned in NBA rumors, but no deal has been finalized yet for the Philadelphia 76ers big man.

Both players could be good players for the Boston Celtics but general manager Danny Ainge said they would choose to stay put if they’ll be getting players who are not a good fit for the team.

In an interview with the Boston Herald, Ainge said that they wouldn’t make moves, either in trade or free agency, just to get a talented player for the sake of making moves.

“Sure, it’d be great to add a knock-down shooter, but you don’t want to change the identity of your team by sticking someone out there that doesn’t have that same defensive intensity and toughness that is the foundation of us being a good team,” Ainge said in the article.

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Ainge could be referring to JR Smith, who has not yet re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers or Jahlil Okafor, who has been mentioned in NBA rumors to Boston but is known more for his offense than defense.

“It’s just not as simple as finding a second baseman and putting him in there. In basketball, you have to do a lot of things — pass, dribble, shoot, rebound, defend,” Ainge added.

“That’s why we like Jaylen [Brown] as an example. He does a lot of things. It’s like Marcus isn’t your prototypical NBA point guard, but he can play (the) 1-4. He’s in there playing a power forward in a playoff game and doing well. He’s a basketball player, and you can play him with a lot of different combinations of people. That’s what I like about our team.”

In the 2016 offseason, the Celtics grabbed Al Horford to improve their frontcourt scoring and defense. Boston was mentioned in the rumors for acquiring Kevin Durant but was unsuccessful in luring the former Oklahoma City Thunder superstar, who chose to go with the Golden State Warriors.

With about a month before the season starts, the Celtics are still mentioned in NBA trade rumors because they have lots of assets to give up in trying to acquire another star like Horford.

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However, Ainge’s recent statement sounds like the Celtics are already staying put with their current line-up entering the 2016-2017 NBA Season. Is Ainge correct in sticking with this roster and is it good enough to battle the Cleveland Cavaliers next season?

Photo courtesy: Aaron Frutman/Wikimedia Commons

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