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Breaking: Celtics Acquire Courtney Lee for JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, and Sean Williams in Sign-and-Trade

SECOND UPDATE: (6:25 PM ET) Don’t set this one in stone yet, as Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald reports this deal may not be a sure thing yet:

Check back with CH with the latest on the potential deal as it develops.

UPDATE: (6 PM ET) As we expected before, the deal is a bit larger to give the Rockets more assets (E’Twaun Moore has been playing extremely well in summer league) and perhaps most importantly allow the C’s to give Lee a higher starting salary (roughly around $4.2 million per year) by matching salaries in the deal. Here is the full deal as reported by Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald:

The chips have been falling into place all offseason for the Boston Celtics, but they may have saved their best move until now. After losing Ray Allen to the Miami Heat, the Celtics have now managed to reportedly acquire the much-sought after Courtney Lee from the Houston Rockets for JaJuan Johnson.

We will have much more on this situation along with analysis shortly but a few things to keep in mind here as we learn about the full terms of the deal in the coming hours/days.

1) Courtney Lee will be signed for at least three years (minimum length for sign-and-trade)
2) It’s very likely Boston will include other cash and perhaps a draft pick in the deal as sweetener.
3) Sean Williams and his non-guaranteed deal is almost certain to be dealt with Johnson as well, to allow the C’s to give Lee a higher starting salary (in the 3-4 million range). E’Twaun Moore could be included as well.
4) If all of the above is true, this deal is still highway robbery and a fantastic trade for Danny Ainge. The 2011-12 roster will be the deepest of the Big Three era by far if this move goes through.

Much more to come……

  • Kafel

    Great news! Please make it happen.

  • DCeltsfan

    YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! best news i've heard since garnett decided to come back

  • celtics greece

    wow men thats to good!!!!!!!!!!ainge take revenge for the perk trade!!!awesome move!!thats a robbery!

  • Tha_Curtlando

    That's great news, and this is coming from a Purdue fan. Wish JaJuan Johnson the best. Still think he could have become a great player under KG, but he hadn't ever really found a role on this team. I hope they keep E'Twaun though — gotta have one Purdue guy left!

  • Tha_Curtlando

    Spoke too soon — E'Twaun … E'Gone … DAMN! Well worth it though.

  • James Patrick

    Great news. But I have to ask, and please let's make this open for discussion. I'm pissed that we're never in talks for the big names yet the Lakers are always in it. Chris Paul, now Dwight Howard. I know we have salary restrictions but why do the Lakers always seem to be able to pull these deals off. It's frustrating.

    • The Cardinal

      Ya know, I'm just not convinced that Howard is a better all around center than Bynum if: 1) both are healthy and 2) both are playing their best at both ends. Bynum not only gets to the line, he actually does okay shooting free throws. Defensively, as talented as DH is, Bynum's a talented 7'2", which is frickin' B-I-GGG!

      I honestly believe that this is one of those "be careful what you wish for" deals – I think the Laker's regress if they lose Bynum.

      • Phil

        People don't seriously think Bynum is anywhere near as good as Howard, right? Howard averaged 21 points and 14.5 rebounds while being the first, second and third focus of other teams. He's also the lynchpin to the entire Magic defense (that's pretty good, despite having no good defenders aside from Dwight.) Those Magic teams around Dwight were TERRIBLE. He carried them on both sides of the ball.

        Bynum averaged 19 and 12 as a third option, and isn't nearly as much of a defensive presence as Howard. To make things even more lopsided, Bynum's had one season where he didn't miss games a significant amount of games with injury, and that's last year (where he missed some because of his suspension anyway.) Dwight's had one injury, and that was the surgery last year. Centers with his durability just don't exist.

        Howard is 26, Bynum is 24, so its not even much of an age thing. There's just no way that swapping Bynum for Howard is even close to even, let alone bad for the Lakers. Going into next year with Bynum means they'll probably lose in 5 in the second round to the Thunder. With Dwight, they're favored to win it all.

        • The Cardinal

          Dude, Bynum was the best center in the West, and if the Howard fans are correct, the second best in the league. So giving you the benefit of the doubt (simply because I ain't gonna debate other players on a C's board), to state that he's not "anywhere as good as Howard" is pure hyperbole.

          Talent's always in the eye of the beholder, but I stand by my statement that if LA loses Bynum, they regress. Heck, he was the difference in 2010 when we lost to LA, so how soon we forget. His 7'2" frame simply smothered our front line in Game 7, and the kid has serious game whether you believe it or not. He may be a minor head case, but he definitely has game..

          • Phil

            I'm the second best basketball player out of a group of Paul Pierce and myself. Doesn't mean I'm anywhere near as good as Pierce. There aren't many good centers at all (Asik just got paid 8m a year, and analysts agree that its not that bad.) There's one franchise center in the league, and then there's fifteen or so start quality centers, of which Bynum is the best (debatable, but most would agree.)

            Howard and Bynum are just completely different players. Bynum is a better version of Perkins; a mostly paint bound banger who can score and rebound well. As long as you have other go to options on offense, he can be a good second and a great third option. On D, he clogs up the middle and makes it tough inside (though Pau also helps, his impact can't be ignored.)

            Dwight changes the entire complexion of the game on both sides. He's a legitimate first option, and can anchor an entire defense even if everyone on the perimeter allows their man past them. Put good players around Dwight, and any team becomes the favorite. The Lakers have had Bynum and a good team the last two years, and they weren't championship caliber. I don't see how you think they're better off with him now.

          • CG12

            I think you vastly under-rate Bynum. If it weren't for his injury history, it would be a close thing between he and Dwight. Bynum is much bigger than Dwight. His scoring game is far better. He has actual post moves. He can shoot a mid-range J. Howard's agility and leaping put him in a class by himself, but his pure b-ball skills are just not that good.

          • Phil

            "Howard doesn't have post moves" is one of those things people say that just isn't true. I don't have the advanced numbers, but he's no worse than average in the post (and I'd bet better than that.) He's a great passer out of the post too. Dwight is asked to do much more than Bynum on offense, and he does it. I don't really know how else to compare them there. If Howard goes to play with Kobe, Nash and Gasol, I'm legitimately terrified, and everyone else should be too.

            Also, what does Bynum being taller have to do with anything if Howard's the better defender, shot blocker, and can jump higher? Ryan Hollins is taller than Dwight too, Hollins is also terrible. People overrate height a ton, its what you do with it that counts.

            I get that Dwight's coming off worse than Lebron in this whole FA fiasco, but that doesn't mean he's not the second best player in the league. People need to learn to separate not liking someone off the court and judging them objectively on it.

  • Phil

    Excellent news, been hoping for this since the rumor first popped up. I didn't think there was any way the Cs could get it done with their small amount of assets, but looks like its happening.

    John Hollinger's pointing out that Moore and Williams are likely invovled too since that brings the salaries to a more reasonable level. Have to wait and see when its made official, but I'd rather have Lee and Christmas than JJJ and Moore.

    I wish JJJ well (Moore too if he's involved,) and I hope they pan out in the league. This is a deal the Cs had to make though.

  • Phil

    There's the update. Nice that its a second round pick and not a first. Good luck to Moore, thanks for playing well enough the last two weeks that the Cs probably got to save a first rounder!

  • Phil

    The Lakers are always in on the big names since they've had good, young assets for a while now, and a willingness to pay anything. Bynum's pretty much their last asset though, so this is their last chance. If they can't get Howard (and its pretty unlikely from where I'm looking,) they're screwed. An old Kobe will be eating up half their cap, and they'll have no bench or young players.

    The Lakers have sacrificed a lot in other areas to get to where they are now, and that's earned them one win in the second round the last two years combined. Without their Howard hail mary coming through, that's an easy second round out only getting worse.

  • James Patrick

    I definitely feel like with Lee we're building something for the future. I'm just tired of the Lakers always finding ways to upstage us. But even minus Ray, we're looking really strong for next year!!!

  • CG12

    Ha! This is unspeakably awesome. Courtney Lee is a genuinely nice player and we got him for assorted roster flotsam and jetsam that can be replaced at the drop of a hat. Phenomenal. Moore is the only one of those guys who is at all likely to stick in the league, and he may not. None of them have any chance of being impact players. They just don't. This C's team is now ridiculously deep. The one piece they are missing is a true back-up center, but I'm not too worried about that because I like Wilcox in the small ball lineups I think we will be seeing an awful lot.

    Rondo, Terry, Jamar Smith?
    [Bradley], C. Lee, D. Christmas or MP (but probably not – too few minutes to go around)
    PP, Green, K. Joseph
    Bass, Sullinger, ??? – vet min guy
    KG, Wilcox, Melo

    Man, that looks good.

    • SteveB

      I'm with you on all of that. Christmas, Smith and Gibson have shown some skills in summer league. I actually like Gibson's speed and Christmas' all around game with shooting and rebounding. Unless they think Melo can contribute this year another big in a necessity right now. Stiemsa would fit that of course but we'll see. I don't remember if Jason Terry has played much PG so Gibson or someone like that to give Rondo 12 minutes a game would be nice. No matter what, IF HEALTHY, that is a nice looking bench right now.

  • BOS

    Sweet. All that's left to do now is sign Blatche to fill out our frontcourt.

    • The Cardinal

      I like that idea, but I wonder if management wants to take a chance with another player who allegedly has attitude/hustle issues. When motivated, he can give the opposition fits because of his athleticism and scoring ability.

      • BOS

        Okay, let's be honest now. Signing Blatche only results in two things:

        1. He doesn't F around knowing KG is there, and gives the C's another young, athletic scorer (at a position they need it the most).

        2. He continues screwing around and KG beats his ass down.

        Seems like a low-risk/high-reward situation to me.

  • LACelticFan

    I'ma wish my man Johnson a good luck in Houston or wherever he ends up, been a fan of his since junior days at Purdue. We do indeed look 10 deep right now, so we can look at those 3rd stringers at Guards and Power Forward.

  • CG12

    Crap. Come on, Danny, get it done.

  • High Rollers

    Now we’re cookin’ with gas!

  • MJ

    Are there any reasonable bigs left in free agency that we can offer our remaining $1.95 mill to? I still think were still missing 1 solid rebounding big

    • BOS

      Leon Powe.

    • strips

      How does 'birdman' sound to you? Or maybe that Amundson dude (I think he was with Golden State last)? Not too many options out there from what I gather…

  • guest

    as usual celtics fan's exited about nobody LOL

    • GowGow

      As usual a hater is hating.

    • Lantrell Walker

      As usual some troll always inexplicable finds his way onto our site.


      • guest

        you really believe in 18 ???:
        Miami is gonna kill you again

  • Pammie

    I AM STOKED…this is exactly what and where the Celtics need to be! Fresh legs plus experienced ones..its like Christmas (hoping for him too). Can't hardly wait until new season

  • SteveB

    Still waiting for this to be official but now I remember watching him play for Orlando. I was impressed with him his first year there and then they shipped him out for little or nothing. Don't remember watching him in Houston much. As much as I worry about the center position the Heat have shown this is a league now where positions are not as relevant. Three guards and two forwards is a common lineup these days. Lakers might be the only team remaining with true bigs and championship potential.

  • ed judson

    Houston is overloaded w/players. Could decline Moore's opt in. Then Moore resigns w/C's.

    • Phil

      Moore would have to clear waivers first, and another team could take a flier on him. If he passes through, I believe there's a restriction on players going back to the team that traded them for a year. I don't see much of a chance of an E'Twaun return.

  • I can’t wait until the management gives an official announcement about this! Celtics need to do a lot of work next season, and I’m hoping that Lee’s fresh pair of legs can help take the team to championship. It’s too bad Lee and JJJ won’t be playing together for Celtics, though.