NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics Pursuing Courtney Lee as Insurance for Avery Bradley

Chris Lawrence@@C_law90Featured ColumnistJuly 8, 2012

In an attempt to fortify their backcourt, the Boston Celtics are pursuing former Houston Rockets shooting guard Courtney Lee, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports.

The pursuit of Lee makes sense, as the Boston Herald recently reported that Avery Bradley will indeed miss training camp and the beginning of the 2012-2013 season. Bradley, who underwent left shoulder surgery in May, will undergo surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday.

Lee is a solid three-point threat (40 percent last season) and defends well. He would be a competent replacement for Bradley and a great complement to Rajon Rondo. Stein writes:

 

The Boston Celtics have emerged as a serious suitor for Courtney Lee after coach Doc Rivers met with the free-agent guard Saturday night, according to sources familiar with Boston's thinking.

 

Lee would be a great signing, but acquiring him will be complicated. Because the Celtics will be over the salary cap once all of their current offseason deals are finalized, they cannot sign Lee for more than the bi-annual exception ($1.95 million).

Lee, who made $2.2 million last season, will command more on the open market now that he is an unrestricted free agent.

The Celtics would have to facilitate a sign-and-trade in order to acquire Lee, something the Rockets are entertaining, according to Stein.

It's unclear what the Celtics would give up in a deal for Lee. Houston has been stockpiling draft picks and young assets for a potential Dwight Howard deal, and Boston could further aid the team's rebuilding efforts by surrendering JaJuan Johnson and a future first-round draft pick.

Obviously, the Celtics would have to include additional players in a deal for Lee in order to make the numbers match up. Also, recruiting a third team to help facilitate the deal is not out of the question.

With Bradley on the shelf for the time being, Lee is the most serviceable shooting guard on the market who can replace him.

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