According to ESPN.com, the Celtics have worked out a sign-and-trade for Rockets' shooting guard Courtney Lee. The Celtics will send last year's draft picks JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore, along with reserve big man Sean Williams and a second-round pick, to the Rockets and will get Lee in return.
Obviously, the Celtics are the big winners of this trade. They essentially traded a lot of unproven NBA talent for a very good NBA player in Courtney Lee.
Throughout Summer League, Sean Williams proved to be relatively worthless in an NBA setting with his inability to even make an impact against younger players. So losing him really shouldn't upset many Celtics fans.
JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore seemed to have more potential, which made them intriguing. Both were good when given the chance (JaJuan Johnson against the Bulls, E'Twaun Moore in the "bar fight" game against the Magic), but they were rarely trusted on the court.
It's doubtful that Johnson would have found time next year with the Celtics selecting Jared Sullinger. Plus, he is a bit undersized and far too skinny to get real minutes at power forward in the NBA. As an NBA player, he is a bit of a work in progress, and the Celtics quite frankly didn't have the time to help him develop.
It's hard to contend for a championship and take the time to let younger and inexperienced players find their way in the NBA. Someday, Johnson could develop into a solid NBA player if he bulks up a bit. However, it's unlikely that will happen soon.
Moore, on the other hand, could be a good NBA player much sooner. He has played exceptionally well during Summer League. This makes him a bit harder to lose, but he has still yet to prove himself like Lee has. Therefore, we can't fret too much over the loss of Moore.
Though, I was waiting to see if he would make the Avery Bradley leap. I guess I'll just have to watch some Rockets games to find out. On second thought, maybe I'll just check his stat sheet.
I wish him the best and hope that he can turn into a solid NBA player with the Rockets under head coach Kevin McHale—who has quietly given the Celtics yet another great deal. Leading us to reason number 10,345 as to why we love Kevin McHale—20 years later and he's still helping the Celtics out.
His trade that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston helped the Celtics raise Banner 17 (did we send him a ring for that?). Now, his next trade with Boston could hep bring the Celtics an 18th championship.
With Lee, the Celtics have hands down the deepest and most talented backcourt in the game. Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley may not be the best starting guard combo in the league, but with Jason Terry and Courtney Lee also backing them up, there is no team in the league with equal depth and talent at the guard position.
With these great guards, the Celtics will have a much more formidable offense. Courtney Lee is a proven volume scorer (averaging 11.4 ppg last season on over 40 percent shooting from the floor and from deep), which will no doubt help the Celtics a lot next season. Defensively, he is solid as well and can make an impact there—especially in the Celtics system.
He may not be Avery Bradley, but he has decent size for the two at 6'5," and will be able to defend bigger guards. Plus, he will likely need to take Bradley's spot in the starting lineup for the beginning of the season next year if Bradley has not yet recovered from his shoulder surgeries.
This would allow Jason Terry to play out the whole season in his preferred sixth-man role. Also, with more minutes at the start of the season, Lee will quickly get acquainted with the Celtics' system—which is important.
That way, the Celtics will be a well-oiled machine with all hands on deck for the second half of the season and the playoffs. And come playoff time, the deadly guard rotation of Rondo, Bradley, Terry and now Lee will give opposing teams fits.
In fact, he could be the missing piece that would sway a series with the Heat in the Celtics favor.
One thing is certain though, the two newest members of the Celtics—Lee and Terry—will leave us with one continuing thought throughout the year: "Ray who?"