Celtics beef up backcourt with acquisition of Lee
Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – The Boston Celtics have bolstered their backcourt with the acquisition of free agent shooting guard Courtney Lee through a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets.
Lee signed a four-year deal with the Rockets reportedly worth $21.5 million before he was traded for JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a second-round pick to Houston. He is expected to earn $5 million in his first year.
To allow more salary cap space for Lee’s contract, the Celtics involved Portland in the transaction where the Trail Blazers received Sasha Pavlovic, two future second-round picks and cash consideration.
“We are very excited that we were able to acquire Courtney Lee,” said Celtics president for basketball operations Danny Ainge. “Courtney brings a vast set of tools on both ends of the court and will be a great fit on our roster.”
The Celtics need a dependable outside threat after the departure of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat and Lee is expected to fill that role.
A 22nd overall by Orlando in 2008, Lee averaged 11.4 points in 30.3 minutes per game last season. He shot 40.1 percent beyond the 3-point arc in 58 appearances, including 26 starts.
Displaying his scoring prowess, Lee scored a season-high 25 points twice this past season, against the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lee has posted career averages of 10.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals and has shot 38.6 percent from three-point range in 287 career games between Orlando, New Jersey and Houston.
Lee’s entry could mean that new recruit Jason Terry will stay in his preferred sixth-man role.
Boston was hoping to complete a sign-and-trade deal with Dallas for Terry, which would have allowed Boston to add Lee via the mid-level exception.
The deal, however, never pushed through so the Celtics were forced to sign Terry with the mid-level exception worth $5 million and work a deal with the Rockets.