Trade grades: Good deal by Celtics

January, 5, 2014
1/05/14
8:28
PM ET
Based on on-court needs as well as contract implications, ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton gives the Celtics a B+ grade for their trade of Courtney Lee to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jerryd Bayless.

Here's his take:
Not a lot to see here from the Celtics' perspective. Boston dealt for Lee last summer with the idea that his 3-and-D game would complement the team's veteran stars. Not only was Lee a disappointment in that role, those stars are now gone (with the exception of injured point guard Rajon Rondo), and Lee no longer makes as much sense. The Celtics are in more need of shot-creators, so Jerryd Bayless -- who the team has pursued in the past, according to our Marc Stein -- might be a better fit independent of contract matters.

Financially, Boston saves more than a million dollars the rest of 2013-14 and more importantly sheds the final two years and slightly more than $11 million remaining on Lee's contract in favor of Bayless' expiring deal. That will allow the Celtics to clear a little bit of room under the salary cap next summer.

While they won't be players in free agency, that might give Boston the ability to take on salary in exchange for a draft pick. If the Celtics do pull off such a deal, consider it the return for Lee more so than Bayless.

Click HERE for more of Pelton's Trade Grades Insider

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Isaiah Thomas
PTS AST STL MIN
20.1 5.4 0.7 26.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsI. Thomas 5.4
StealsM. Smart 1.3
BlocksT. Zeller 0.7