NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics Should Avoid O.J. Mayo Signing, Sign Courtney Lee

Michael DulkaContributor IJuly 9, 2012

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 13:  O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts after making a basket and drawing a foul from the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 13, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

According to reports (per Comcast Sports Net New England), the Boston Celtics are still interested in bringing in O.J. Mayo despite the fact they would have to do so in a sign-and-trade. While Mayo is a legitimate scoring threat in the backcourt, the Celtics don't need another guard for the price that Mayo will cost. 

The Celtics prepared for the flight of Ray Allen by signing Jason Terry to a three-year deal at the mid-level exception. By bringing in Terry, the Celtics have a legitimate sixth man to come off the bench as a pure scorer. The Celtics should pass on O.J. Mayo and look to sign Courtney Lee instead to fill in while Avery Bradley is sidelined.

In Memphis, the Grizzles tried to convert Mayo into more of a point guard, but his true top ability is scoring the basketball. To be at his most effective, he should be playing off the ball at the 2 instead of handling the ball. 

As of now, Avery Bradley is likely to be the guy at shooting guard for the Celtics. Bradley showed massive improvements in his game during his second season in the league, playing in 64 of 66 games and starting 28 of those contests. He averaged 7.6 points per game on 49.8 percent shooting from the field.

While Bradley was efficient scoring the basketball when called upon, his defense was even more impressive. Despite being undersized, his lockdown defense adds something that Mayo and Terry certainly don't bring to the table.   

Bringing in Mayo would hurt the development of Bradley by taking away his minutes. At age 21, Bradley has a ton of potential and could develop to be the Celtics shooting guard of the future, completing the backcourt with Rajon Rondo.

Like many young players, what Bradley needs most to develop to his full potential is playing time and the backing of his coaching staff. By signing Mayo, Boston would show Bradley that the coaching staff doesn't think he's capable of getting the job done.

The Celtics do need another guard, as Bradley is expected to miss the first two months of the season following shoulder surgery 

Instead of signing Mayo, the Celtics should bring in Courtney Lee. The 6'5" guard offers more size than Bradley and has shown in his four-year career that he is a serviceable guard. He has spent time as a starter in both Orlando and Houston

Lee would be able to fill the gap while Bradley is injured and if the young guard struggles. With one of the best point guards in the game and talented forwards in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Celtics don't need their shooting guard to be the focus of the offseason. 

Lee is likely to be much cheaper than Mayo as well.

The Celtics should bring in Courtney Lee to play fill-in duty, eventually put their trust in Avery Bradley's hands at shooting guard and avoid the high cost of signing O.J. Mayo.