Sources: Celts, Courtney Lee meet

Updated: July 8, 2012, 5:44 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The Boston Celtics have emerged as a serious suitor for Courtney Lee after coach Doc Rivers met with the free-agent guard Saturday night, according to sources familiar with Boston's thinking.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Celtics, in the wake of losing sharpshooter Ray Allen to the Miami Heat, have ratcheted up their pursuit of Lee as a possible replacement.

Lee averaged 11.4 points per game for the Houston Rockets last season and hit 40 percent of his 3-point attempts.

The Celtics don't have the salary-cap space to sign Lee outright, but sources say the Rockets have let it be known that they're willing to participate in sign-and-trade deals with both Marcus Camby and Lee amid the increasing likelihood that neither of those coveted free agents will be returning to Houston.

Allen, who spent the past five seasons in Boston, agreed to sign with the reigning champion Heat on Friday, leaving the Celtics thin at shooting guard.

Boston has added veteran guard Jason Terry this offseason but may need to offset the absence of Avery Bradley, who needs right shoulder surgery and could miss the start of next season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, sources said, are the other teams in pursuit of Lee. The Chicago Bulls have long been interested in Lee, as well, but the Bulls' limited financial flexibility means they'd also need a sign-and-trade deal to land the swingman.

ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg contributed to this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

MORE NBA HEADLINES