Boston Celtics News: Celtics Add More Depth With The Addition Of Courtney Lee

  on July 21 2012 8:37 PM

 

The acquisition of free-agent guard Courtney Lee by the Celtics has finally come to completion after they received some help from the Portland Trail Blazers.

After losing Ray Allen to the Miami Heat and starter Avery Bradley likely to miss the start of the season, Celtics made Houston Rockets shooting guard, Courtney Lee, as their number one priority. They were unable to finalize a sign-and-trade deal that would send Lee to Boston on Thursday night, but after the Trail Blazers were brought into the picture, a three-team trade was put together on Friday.

Lee, who will add to the Celtics' backcourt depth, has signed a four-year contract worth $21.5 million, according to Yahoo!Sports.com.

It looked like the Celtics were out of the running for Lee because of salary-cap constraints, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge found a way to unload some players and draft picks to make it work.

The Celtics sent JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore and Sean Williams plus a 2013 second-round draft pick (which they received from the NBA as compensation in the Jeff Green trade) to the Rockets.

In addition, the Celtics signed their own free-agent, Sasha Pavlovic, and dealt him and two second-round picks plus cash to the Trail Blazers, who sent the rights to guard Jon Diebler to the Rockets.

"We are very excited that we were able to acquire Courtney Lee," said Ainge in a statement. "Courtney brings a vast set of tools on both ends of the court and will be a great fit on our roster."

Lee averaged 11.4 points and made 40 percent of his shots from 3-point range for the Rockets last season.

Along with newcomer Jason Terry, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract this week, Lee will provide the Celtics with outside shooting options to fill the void left by Ray Allen.

Lee has played 287 games since entering the league as the No. 22 pick in 2008 and helped the Orlando Magic reach the NBA Finals in his rookie season.

There is a chance Lee will open the season as a starter while Avery Bradley recovers from shoulder surgery.

Johnson and Moore, teammates at Purdue, played very little as rookies after being acquired in the 2011 draft. Williams signed late in the season and Pavlovic had a limited role.

Moore and Williams, who do not have guaranteed contracts, are expected to be waived by the Rockets.

The Celtics' payroll is hovering near the $70 million mark, meaning they have very little left to spend. The team must stay below $74 million since it has used its mid-level exception.

They can still sign a player for the $1.9 million bi-annual exception.