NBA Free Agency 2012: Should the Boston Celtics Pursue Courtney Lee?

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 09:  Courtney Lee #5 of the Houston Rockets celebrates during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 9, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Rockets defeated the Suns 96-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With news that Avery Bradley might miss the beginning of the season, it is clear that the Boston Celtics need some depth at the 2.

While Jason Terry can start, he is far more effective off the bench. In Dallas, less effective shooting guards like DeShawn Stevenson started because Rick Carlisle understood that Jet would provide that spark in the second unit.

If Terry is not going to start, who is going to?

The free-agent market has dried up considerably, forcing the Celtics to explore emergency options.

Courtney Lee has been rumored to be in the Celtics' plans for the past few days, due in part because Houston rescinded his qualifying offer.

Lee averaged 11.4 points per game in 30.3 minutes for the Rockets and has steadily improved as an overall player during his career.

His ceiling will never be an All-Star player, but the guard out of Western Kentucky would be a reliable replacement for the time that Bradley is out. 

Even if the Celtics decide to not sign Lee, they will still likely earn a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference, especially since Derrick Rose will be out for at least half the season and with the Pacers choosing to possibly let Roy Hibbert go, as the Indianapolis Star reports.

Keeping this in mind, signing Lee does give the Celtics flexibility. Lee is much bigger than both Bradley and Terry and has played the forward position.

He is also a solid three-point shooter, helping Boston recuperate faster from the pending loss of Allen.

While Boston would need to complete a sign-and-trade with Houston to make this deal happen, adding Lee is smart, given that the C's don't give up any of their major rotation players.

Nonetheless, Lee is a smart addition for a team yearning to win another championship.