Friday, July 20, 2012
Celtics acquire Courtney Lee
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics acquired free-agent shooting guard Courtney Lee in a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets that also included the Portland Trail Blazers, the Celtics announced Friday.
The Celtics are giving Lee a fully guaranteed four-year contract -- reported by Yahoo! Sports to be worth $21.5 million -- and trading away JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a second-round pick to Houston. They also will ship Sasha Pavlovic, two second-round picks and cash considerations to Portland. The Blazers were added to the mix Thursday night in order to facilitate the deal and give Lee a higher salary.
"We are very excited that we were able to acquire Courtney Lee," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. "Courtney brings a vast set of tools on both ends of the court and will be a great fit on our roster."
Based on the numbers reported by Yahoo! Sports, Lee is expected to make around $5 million in the first year of the deal.
Moore and Williams -- playing on nonguaranteed contracts -- are expected to be waived by the Rockets, the source said, but, per league rules, the Celtics cannot reclaim them for one year's time. Both are expected to go into the waiver pool once the deal is made official.
After losing Ray Allen to the Miami Heat and with Avery Bradley potentially sidelined for the start of the 2012-13 season after undergoing a pair of shoulder surgeries, the Celtics were in need of a front-line shooting guard. Lee will fill that role, allowing Jason Terry -- who officially was signed Wednesday for the mid-level exception -- to stay in his preferred sixth-man role.
Lee averaged 11.4 points in 30.3 minutes per game last season and shot 40.1 percent beyond the 3-point arc in 58 appearances, including 26 starts.
The Celtics attempted to engage the Dallas Mavericks in a sign-and-trade deal for Terry that would have allowed them to use the mid-level to lure Lee. When that failed, Boston pushed harder with Houston to work out the deal.
Johnson, Moore and Williams all were absent from the Celtics' Summer League game in Las Vegas against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.
Johnson never was seen in the arena, while Moore and Williams arrived with the team but eventually left the floor during warm-ups. Moore and Williams each shared a one-on-one conversation with Celtics coach Doc Rivers in the tunnel next to Boston's locker room before departing the arena.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Greg Payne was used in this report.