Why didn't it work out with David Lee in Boston?

Last season David Lee was the odd man out on a championship Golden State team, and was supplanted by what turned out to be one of the best all around players in the NBA in Draymond Green. Thanks to Green, Lee was then on his way last offseason and landed in Boston. Although much maligned by stat heads for years, it seemed like this would be a team Lee could still contribute on. Offensively I have always enjoyed watching Lee play, and I thought his passing would be great for guys like Avery Bradley who are creative off ball cutters.

In the preseason that vision seemed to come to fruition, and there was even talk of Lee as a point forward in the early going. In the regular season that vision was abandoned quickly, and though Lee played a lot of minutes at times, he was never consistently budgeted big minutes in the rotation. As Brad Stevens narrowed his rotation throughout the year, it became clear Lee was not in the plans. He didn't play in the last 18 Celtics games before the All Star break, and they went 13-5 in those games.

The last game he played in was against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 10th, and he went 2-12 in 15 minutes. I remember feeling bad for Lee because it seemed like it would be one of his last chances to make a positive impression, and of those 12 shots many of them were very makeable layups and attempts from the paint. In other words, he was getting the shots he wants but was incapable of making them.

That seemed to be the most glaring problem with Lee in his time in Boston. We all knew he was a defensive liability coming into the year, but hoped he would make up for it on offense. All season he just couldn't finish like we had been accustomed to seeing, and if he isn't doing that for you there isn't much else he can bring to the table.

With all that said, it should be mentioned that from the outside looking in Lee seemed to be the consummate professional, a good soldier, and a great teammate through what has to be the most frustrating and humbling experience of his NBA career. When Avery Bradley canned that 3 to beat Cleveland, David Lee was just as excited and celebrating just as wildly as anyone on that bench. Every time the Celtics were on a run while Lee was glued to bench, he was engaged and cheering them on. There have been plenty of players who have been slighted way less who have acted like punks and become a negative influence or distraction on a team, and to his credit that was never an issue.

All early reports have Dallas landing Lee after he clears waivers, and I hope Celtic nation wishes him the best. At least better than the last Celtic we sent their way.

Photo Credit: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

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