David Lee to Mavericks: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Boston Celtics' David Lee comes down after dunking during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in Boston, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Following his release from the Boston Celtics, veteran forward David Lee has signed with the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavericks announced the signing on Monday after Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted Sunday that Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks would sign Lee and have released guard John Jenkins.  

Shams Charania of The Vertical initially reported the Mavs intended to ink Lee for the remainder of the season at $2.1 million.  

Boston officially waived the 32-year-old Lee the day after the trade deadline, and head coach Brad Stevens chalked it up to simply having too many options in the frontcourt, according to ESPN.com:

Even when you look at his (basic) numbers, his numbers are pretty good. It was one of those situations where we had a logjam at that spot, and that spot became even tighter because we decided to play small more. So it was more of a style of play decision than anything else. ... And it stinks because we knew this going in that a good, productive player would be sitting.

The C's acquired Lee in a trade with the Golden State Warriors in July, and he went on to average 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds while playing 15.7 minutes per contest in 30 games.

The two-time All-Star didn't average fewer than 16 points per game from 2008-09 through 2013-14 with the New York Knicks and the Dubs, but his role diminished significantly in 2014-15.

Although he won an NBA championship with the Warriors, he appeared in just 49 games, averaging 7.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per tilt.

The former first-round pick out of Florida has twice put up more than 20 points per game in a season, and the Mavericks are banking on him to at least show flashes of that form.

Per Basketball-Reference.com, Lee has a player efficiency rating of 15.6 this season, which means he has been slightly above the league average.

Aside from his rookie season, however, he had never recorded a mark lower than 17.8 in a single season, which suggests Boston simply may not have been the right situation for him.

While Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia have the starting spots locked up in the frontcourt, it can be argued that Lee instantly becomes Dallas' top reserve forward ahead of Dwight Powell, Charlie Villanueva, JaVale McGee and Salah Mejri.

The Mavericks are currently sixth in the Western Conference with a record of 30-27, but they have struggled a bit as of late with a record of 4-6 in their past 10 outings.

Lee may not be the same player who once routinely averaged a double-double, but with career marks of 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, his addition is a worthwhile risk.

At worst, Lee figures to provide a scoring boost off the bench, which would be more than enough for him to live up to the relatively small investment the Mavs reportedly made in him.

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