Did the Boston Celtics Make a Mistake in Trading E'Twaun Moore?

Patrick BusconeSenior Analyst INovember 24, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 19:  E'Twaun Moore #55 of the Orlando Magic grabs a loose ball from Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 19, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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

Crazy it would have seemed a few months ago, but the Boston Celtics may have made a mistake trading away E'Twaun Moore to acquire Courtney Lee. 

At the time, it seemed like Danny Ainge's most masterful move of the offseason. Now, however, we have the benefit of hindsight. And as my old history teacher used to say, "hindsight's 20/20."

Through the first month of the regular season, the traded E'Twaun Moore (who ended up on the Magic after being waived by the Rockets) is averaging 11 points, four assists and three rebounds a game in about 29 minutes. His trade counterpart, Courtney Lee, is playing seven less minutes a game, yet is averaging about seven points less than Moore. 

Sure, Moore is on a worse team where he has more opportunities to showcase his skills, but he is also shooting the ball more efficiently than Lee, particularly from the three-point line. 

Furthermore, Lee has only scored in double digits in two games, while Moore has scored in double digits seven times. 

Did anyone really see this coming? 

Well, not exactly. 

In the article I wrote right after the trade, I was ecstatic over the move: Dumping a heap of unproven NBA talent for a talented, proven player seemed like a no-brainer. That didn't stop me from lamenting, briefly, over the loss of Moore, though.  

He showed us a glimpse of greatness last season against the Orlando Magic. What we didn't know is that he would play like this all the time for the Magic.

Yet, we still can't fault the Celtics for making the move. Any time you have the opportunity to trade unproven NBA talent for proven NBA talent, you do it. 

Every once in a while, it doesn't work. As of right now, it appears this is one of those instances. However, it is still early in the season: There is still time for Lee to play better and time for Moore to fall apart. 

Sunday night, we will watch the matchup between E'Twaun Moore and Courtney Lee intently and wonder what if the Celtics hadn't traded Moore.

Then we will remember how great the move seemed at the time. And, in the end, we will hope that Courtney Lee ups his level of play to make the move seem ingenious again.