Today in Celtics history: Ray Allen born, Courtney Lee trade

Today, July 20th is the fifth anniversary of the trade which brought Courtney Lee to the Boston Celtics.

Lee joined the team in a rare three-team deal, with the Houston Rockets sending Lee to Boston, the Celtics trading JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a second round pick to the Rockets and Sasha Pavlovic to the Portland Trailblazers. The Blazers completed the deal by sending Jon Diebler to the Rockets.

During his 108-game stint with the team, Lee averaged a healthy 7.7 points, 1.6 assists, and a steal per game before being traded in another three-team trade. This deal saw him and a 2016 second round pick shipped to the Memphis Grizzlies, who traded Jerryd Bayless to the Celtics and a pair of second-round picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who traded Ryan Gomes to Boston and cash to the Grizzlies.

Today is also the 42nd birthday of former Celtics guard Ray Allen, a key component to bringing Kevin Garnett to Boston and winning Banner 17 in 2008, but whose exit clouded his legacy with the club. Allen, who played his college ball at the University of Connecticut before stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle Supersonics, was the first shoe to fall in creating the legendary "Big Three" along with Paul Pierce and Garnett, acquired in a trade with Seattle that sent he and Glen Davis to the Celtics for Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and a 2008 second-round pick. 

Early success soon changed to awkward relations as Allen was repeatedly dangled in trade talks and clashed with both teammates and the front office as his role with the team diminished. While the tale of his estrangement is for another day, the mounting losses in the playoffs and the tension with the team were enough to convince Allen to jump ship to the Miami Heat in the summer of 2012, a move which has forever clouded is legacy in the eyes of many Celtics fans. Over his five season with the Celts, he averaged 16.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 boards per game.

That rift may yet heal, with Paul Pierce implying he'd prefer to put the sour feelings behind him recently, but there are likely several former teammates (and a lot more fans) who may never get over the way Allen left Boston. However, as an integral part of Boston's last championship, even with all the angst over his exit, I'll never forget the joy he brought, too.

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Video: 1- Ben Rohrbach ; 2- gearmast3r ; 3- NBA on TNT
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