If there’s one thing Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and owner Wyc Grousbeck agree on, it’s that the team isn’t finished with its offseason rebuild. Despite having already signed Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million deal, the Celtics are still in the market for another elite player.
Names that have been thrown into the mix include Khris Middleton, Jimmy Butler, Jahlil Okafor and DeMarcus Cousins. Ainge recently stated that that the team needs a stronger big man. This takes Middleton and Butler out of the equation.
Sports talk show host Michael Felger shared on CSNNE that between Okafor and Cousins, the Celtics should pursue the Sacramento Kings center. Okafor is a promising talent, but he isn’t as versatile and as committed on defense as Cousins.
The Celtics are planning to use Horford as a power forward. It would be a better look for the team if they had Cousins manning the paint instead of the offensive-minded sophomore.
The Celtics also have assets that the Kings badly need. Darren Collison is currently the only point guard with a guaranteed roster spot in Sacramento next season.
Hardwood Houdini reported that the Kings view Collison as transient lodger rather than the team’s long-term point guard. The Kings could deal Cousins to the Celtics in exchange for either Marcus Smart or Terry Rozier, plus serviceable power forward Amir Johnson.
Danny Ainge and company have a tough decision to make as Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is a staunch advocate of all three players, especially Johnson. In an interview with Mass Live, Stevens said, “He’s really important to our offense to with his rolling, getting to the rim, making himself available at the rim, those types of things.”
The Celtics will likely include two future draft picks to further facilitate a trade with the Kings. Losing a talented point guard, a reliable big and two potential top-five picks is easier to stomach than failing to acquire Cousins, arguably the best big man in the NBA today.