NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics Close To A Deal With J.R. Smith

The Boston Celtics long search for star players continues, but the next player they may wind up with could fit their current model. The Celtics are a collection of good, though not superstar talents.

Unless something drastically changes between now and the start of the NBA season, there will be no superstars donning a Boston Celtics jersey. That should be okay to Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics’ front office. The next target of the Boston Celtics is a player with star talent. And, he is one of the heroes from the most recent NBA champions.

Hello, J.R. Smith.

According to the website Sportsrageous, the Celtics are attempting to lure Smith with a one-year deal, worth $12 million.

It seems as if the Celtics are trying to give J.R. Smith an offer which would be difficult to turn down. The Celtics will get some competition from the Cavaliers. Smith could give the Celtics an element of that they need — three-point shooting.

Boston was 28th out of 30 teams in shooting percentage from behind the three-point line. The 33.5 percent from distance was the worst among Eastern Conference teams that made the playoffs. The Celtics connected on 717 treys. J.R. Smith buried 204 of his shots from distance, which was 37 more than the Celtics’ scoring leader, Isaiah Thomas.

J.R. Smith J.R. Smith, seen causing trouble with several members of the Boston Celtics, is the shooter the C’s could use. [Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]Recently, ESPN’s Chris Forsberg looked into how the Celtics and Smith would be a fit.

According to Forsberg, the Celtics need for shooting is why they would be interested in J.R. Smith. Smith is not the ideal defender for what the Celtics desire, but that should not stop them from handing him an offer.

J.R. Smith can play good defense when he chooses to. He has excellent footwork, and the fact that he has played with LeBron James, becoming a winner in the process, could end up a decisive time in his career as it shifts. No one will ever confuse J.R. Smith for a legendary player, but playing with one could make a difference. Smith’s championship experience will come in handy if he signs with a team other than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

If the Boston Celtics strike out on J.R. Smith, their options become relegated to the trade market. Thus far the trade market has been unkind to the Celtics.

It is clear who the Celtics have targeted over the past month.

NBA rumors have linked the Boston Celtics to Jimmy Butler, Jahlil Okafor, Khris Middleton, Blake Griffin, and Gordon Hayward.

That is an impressive list of players and each time the Celtics swung, they missed. It could have been because many of the NBA rumors had Boston not offering up enough in any deal they were reportedly involved in. The Celtics may have to wait until the next season’s trade deadline in order to get a deal done.

Jimmy Butler is off limits. The Chicago Bulls are not going deal him unless their season is an utter failure.

The same can be said for Blake Griffin. The Los Angeles Clippers may be one of the only teams with a chance at defeating the Golden State Warriors. That leaves Okafor, Middleton, and Hayward.

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Either of the aforementioned trio may wind up available for the right price at some point. Jahlil Okafor looks like the odd man out in Philadelphia. According to Sports Illustrated, both teams continue to engage in trade talks. Would the Celtics meet the Philadelphia 76ers‘ asking price, whatever that may be?

The case for Gordon Hayward is less interesting.

If you look at the Utah Jazz, they are building a team similar to the Boston Celtics. This is the year the Jazz are looking at returning to the playoffs and trading Hayward would deter from that.

Khris Middleton is the last name on the list. He is the most realistic target of them all.

Are the Milwaukee Bucks a rebuilding already? Their playoff absence from last season after making the postseason was a huge step backwards. The Bucks may want to shake things up. They could look to trade Middleton, along with Greg Monroe or Jabari Parker.

Khris Middleton is not a star in name, but he fits what the Celtics need.

The Boston Celtics and their pursuit for stars is not “J.R. Smith or bust.” While Smith is not a star, he has star qualities. It is likely that Smith will re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, leaving the Celtics to continue exploring the trade market. Those options for the Celtics are drying up, but do not count them out.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]