The Cleveland Cavaliers stole Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks by sending a 2019 first round pick and some dead weight veterans from the back of their roster; surly the Boston Celtics could have beaten that offer.
While a sharp shooter like Korver wouldn’t fill their biggest needs, but moving a guy like Gerald Green – who has been very inconsistent for you this year – along with one of the Celtics many draft picks and possibly a James Young type would have still upgraded the team’s roster while also giving Atlanta a better return compared to the deal they actually made.
This is now a lost opportunity but there are still many players out there who can upgrade Boston’s bench, wile also keeping most of their top assets on board so a blockbuster deal is still a real possibility. One possible fit that instantly comes to mind is past pal Courtney Lee, who is currently with the struggling New York Knicks.
Okay. So round one of the Courtney Lee experience didn’t really work out, but the deck was stacked against him from the beginning. He was the Celtics starting shooting guard on opening night during the 2012-13 season and trying to replace the spot that Ray Allen held for five years wouldn’t have been easy for anybody; the remaining pieces of “The Big Three” was gone by the time his second season in Boston rolled around and it’s hard to have good memories with anybody on that team.
But Lee has done very well for himself since he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies midway through the 2013-14 season. The 31-year old shooting guard is currently second in the entire NBA with a 45.0% shooting mark from three. He’s shooting an impressive 39.4% from downtown since the beginning of that season when he was still with the Celtics. Lee has also been to the playoff in each of those three seasons, averaging 11.0 PPG in 25 games with a 41.4% clip from beyond the arc.
Green, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier have all had their moments this year where they’ve come through and played big roles but each of them has also struggled with consistency. Depth had been something that Boston has hung their hat on during the Brad Stevens-era but they’re currently 25th in bench scoring right now and Lee is just the guy who can give you production in that role night in and night out with his shooting abilities.
Lee is an experienced veteran who has been to the playoffs five times in his nine year career, including each of the past four seasons. While he is having a great year personally with the Knicks, the losing has seemingly caught up to him and a trade would be something he welcomes with open arms.
This is just a random thought that isn’t based on rumors or speculation, but the concept is all there. While defense and rebounding from a front court player is still the biggest hole Danny Ainge needs to fill, a guy like Korver would have still done big things for the Celtics and Lee might even be an upgrade over Korver; he’s just not as big of a name.