Now that Ray Allen has left Boston for not-as-green pastures, Marc Stein reports that Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers are making a run at Rockets SG Courtney Lee as a potential replacement. Doc met with him Saturday night. Boston can’t afford to sign Lee as a free agent, but Houston has demonstrated a willingness to send Lee to Boston in a sign-and-trade deal. Hey, Daryl Morey: any interest in four years of a below-average shooting and rebounding SF?
The Timberwolves, Hawks, Pacers, Mavs, and Suns are all also in the market for Lee’s services, but the story about the Celtics’ interest is currently the number-five ESPN.com headline, territory normally reserved for Tiger losing a non-major or a blind high school football player kicking a field goal. Lee’s a worthwhile target because he’s only 26 and can hit 40% of his threes, gives good defense and operates well without the ball. He’s not Ray, even Ray at age 37, but he’s priced accordingly. He’d also work pretty well off the bench alongside a creator like Jason Terry and a whatever-Jeff-Green-is like Jeff Green.
The question is how the Celtics could actually end up with him: Ainge has plenty of young tradeable assets to offer, but Houston just ended up with three first-rounders and probably aren’t desperate to carry more on their roster. Looking elsewhere on the roster, Avery Bradley appears to be about Lee’s equal in value at the same position and a much lower price, and the rights to Nenad Krstic aren’t lighting up the phones like they used to. Ainge could always offer future picks, but those eventually start coming in handy when two of your stars turn 38 and 39 and they’re still on your books. Maybe Kevin McHale could help out with this one?