All About 18: Courtney Lee

While the summer’s free agency frenzy was abuzz across the NBA over several high-profile signings and acquisitions, the Boston Celtics quietly put together a solid roster that had experts nodding in admiration and approval.  One report even described GM Danny Ainge’s summer moves as “sneaky.”  The biggest and best move of all, of course, was retaining “The Big Ticket,” KG, while getting Sixth Man Supreme Jason “The Jet” Terry was quite the masterstroke.  But the move which perhaps made the C’s roster as deep and flexible as it currently stands is the acquisition of Courtney Lee.

Lee is a 6’5”, 200-lb. versatile performer who ranked among league leaders in 3-point field goal percentage (40.1% 3FG) and steals (1.2 spg), while also contributing 11.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.  The 26-year-old Western Kentucky product has the skills to stretch opposing defenses with his long-range shooting and athleticism to defend against opponents of varying sizes.   

With his length and speed, Lee could cover most 1s, 2s and even 3s.  He’s currently slated to be the starter at the 2 while Avery Bradley recovers from shoulder surgery, but whether he starts or not, he will be able to tandem with any backcourt combination of Rondo, Jet and AB.  He could also see time at the 3 when Doc opts for a smaller, faster frontline that teams him with maybe Jeff Green, Brandon Bass or Jared Sullinger at the 4 and a choice of KG, Bass or Chris Wilcox manning the 5.

With Courtney on board, the lineup permutations are unlimited but as skilled and versatile as he may be, he identified his role on the Celtics during media day as going to be, “on the defensive end, first and foremost.”  That’s where championship campaigns are built and where the drive for #18 begins.