NBA Free Agents 2012: Courtney Lee is the Perfect SG for the Boston Celtics

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IJuly 13, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Courtney Lee #5 of the Houston Rockets celebrates a shot against the Boston Celtics on January 10, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Rockets defeated the Celtics 108-102. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Boston Celtics should aggressively pursue young shooting guard Courtney Lee because he is a player who can add athleticism and spectacular defense to the roster.

However, the Celtics aren't the only team that view Lee as an option in free agency, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

Just spoke with Courtney Lee, who said he's interested in the #celtics but the money has to be right. Said more than 8 teams interested

— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) July 9, 2012

The Celtics' lack of salary cap space has forced them to attempt to acquire Lee via a sign-and-trade only.

With the Celtics drafting three quality players in the 2012 NBA draft—including two first-round picks—general manager Danny Ainge can afford to part ways with a draft pick in a possible sign-and-trade for Lee.

Lee, 26, has good size for a shooting guard at 6'5," 200 pounds. He has plenty of experience as a bench player, but has also started 135 games during his four-year career.

Here are some notable stats for Lee from the 2011-12 season.

GP PPG APG RPG FG% FT%
58 11.4 1.5 2.7 .433 .826

Adding Lee would give the Celtics a better roster than they had last year. He could be the final piece to a roster that Ainge has carefully crafted following the team's heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Ainge could always bring back veteran Mickael Pietrus if he can't sign Lee, but the former Western Kentucky guard should be his first choice.