We've got some action! According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Celtics are in "advanced discussions" to acquire Grizzlies' guard Jerryd Bayless in a deal centered around Courtney Lee.
Boston Celtics, I'm told, are in advanced discussions on a trade to acquire Jerryd Bayles from Memphis in a deal involving Courtney Lee
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 5, 2014
Depending on what else is involved, this would be a fantastic deal for the Cs when it comes to shedding salary. Bayless is in the last year of a 2 year, $6.135 million deal which pays him $3.135 million this season. Lee on the other hand makes $16.4 million over the next three seasons.
Bayless, 25, is having a really poor shooting season, only converting 37.5% of his attempts. But he's younger than Lee, and most importantly, gives the Celtics a ton of cap flexibility going forward.
But there needs to be more involved. Memphis is receiving too much salary for this to be a one for one swap, and Boston would need to receive someone else. Unless the Grizzlies really like Lee, I wouldn't be surprised if Boston was throwing in some kind of pick as well. Why else would the Grizz pay ~$13 million for a marginal shooting guard upgrade during a season where they are unlikely to compete?
For now though, this is all we know. We'll update as we hear more.
Lee won't play tonight:
Source says Courtney Lee will not play for Celtics tonight. Deal with Memphis close to being done. #CelticsTalk
— Kyle Draper (@KyleDraperTV) January 5, 2014
Deal looks to be done:
Trade call on Boston's looming acquisition of Jerryd Bayless for Courtney Lee, I'm told, is being scheduled for Monday. Deal is happening
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 5, 2014
Update #2: It's a done deal. From Stein's article.
The Boston Celtics have reached an agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies to trade for veteran guard Jerryd Bayless, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Celtics, after pursuing him in previous seasons as well, are on the verge of acquiring Bayless for shooting guard Courtney Lee. A trade call with the league office, sources said, has been scheduled for Monday.
The Grizzlies, with nearly $7.5 million left of a trade exception they created in January 2013 by dealing Rudy Gay to Toronto, can use that exception to absorb Lee's contract, which runs for two more seasons at slightly more than $11 million after this season.
And Memphis is indeed said to be willing to take on the additional longterm salary left on Lee's contract in hopes that Lee could bring much-needed perimeter shooting to the Memphis offense. The Grizzlies are essentially relying on Mike Conley and Mike Miller for their 3-point threat in the wake of losing Quincy Pondexter for the season to a foot injury.
The Celtics have been trying to shed Lee's contract, despite the 28-year-old's 49.2 percent shooting from the floor this season and 44.2 percent shooting from 3-point range. So they've spent the weekend trying to complete this swap for Bayless, whose production is down under new Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger while making $3.1 million in the final year of his contract.
So the deal is straight up, with the Grizz using a portion of their Rudy Gay trade exception to absorb the difference in salaries. In my opinion, this is a really nice trade for the Celtics. They save $13 million over the next two and a half seasons, shedding Lee's bloated salary. While Lee has been fantastic in a reserve role this season, paying a 3rd/4th guard $5.5 million a season is bad business for a team in the midst of a rebuild.
Plus, this makes the team a little worse for this season without touching any long term assets. For those who want the team to play hard, yet ultimately lose this season - that is a really good thing.
Also wanted to show this classy pic/comment Lee left on his instagram. Clearly a stand-up guy.
For those with bad eyes, it reads:
Would like to thank every1 in the celtics organization for the opportunity to be a celtic, I enjoyed my time in Boston and am grateful. Would also like to thank @celtics for showcasing my desire to give back to the community and also making me look good in the pictures lol. Would also like to thank the fans for the amazing year and a half journey, we started off a little rocky but I got my game back right so thanks for the extra motivation. #allgoodthingscometoaend!!!
Good luck in Memphis, Mr. Lee. May your career season continue.
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