Report: Celtics serious suitors for Lee


Report: Celtics serious suitors for Lee

WINTER PARK, Fla. The Celtics continue to move forward in the wake of being spurned by Ray Allen. Now they've set their sights on unrestricted free agent Courtney Lee.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers met with Lee on Saturday night, according to an report.

Lee is steadily gaining steam as a highly sought-after player now that Allen -- arguably the top free agent shooting guard this summer -- has committed to play for the Miami Heat.

A first-round pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic, the 6-foot-5 guardforward has played for three different teams (Orlando, New Jersey and Houston) in his four NBA seasons despite establishing himself as a solid defender and consistent scorer.

In his four NBA seasons, he has averaged 10 points per game and has shot better than 40 percent on 3s each of the last two seasons.

While the interest is mutual, the Celtics will be hard-pressed to sign the 26-year-old who made 2.2 million last season with the Rockets.

Having already come to terms on deals with their own free agents (Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass) as well as contracts for Jason Terry and most recently Jeff Green, the C's don't' have the salary cap space needed to sign Lee.

Instead, the Celtics would most likely have to acquire him via sign-and-trade which is something the Rockets have indicated they are open to doing.

The addition of Lee would not only bolster the Celtics' lineup, but also provide them with a better-than-average presence in the backcourt until Avery Bradley (shoulders) returns to the Celtics lineup sometime between the start of training camp and December.

In addition to Lee, the C's are also keeping an eye on Mickael Pietrus, C.J. Miles of Utah and former Celtic Gerald Green as possible additions.

All of the aforementioned players constitute a small pool of talent that a number of teams are focusing their attention on, a grouping that includes the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks.

Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown


Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown

Jaylen Brown made a costly turnover in the final minute that contributed to Boston’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The fact that he was even in the game at that point speaks to not just his potential, but the level of confidence the rookie has already garnered from the Boston Celtics coaching staff.

Brown, who had nine points on 4-for-7 shooting on Thursday, turned the ball over with less than a minute to play and the Celtics trailing 101-99 at the time.

Moments after the turnover, Chicago’s Dwyane Wade drained a step-back 3-pointer that sealed the Bulls’ victory.

Disappointed with the game’s outcome, Brown acknowledged that it meant a lot to him for Stevens to have enough confidence in him to keep him on the floor down the stretch.

But with that faith comes added pressure for Brown to come through and deliver.

“It means I have to do better and try and execute for my team and earn everything I get,” Brown told reporters after the game. “I don’t want anything given to me just because I’m the number three pick in the draft.”

Stevens was asked about having Brown on the floor in the game’s closing seconds.

“He (Brown) was playing pretty well and I thought we were better off playing small,” Stevens said. “I wanted to keep Jaylen in there. I thought he did a lot of good things tonight.”

“Obviously that play didn’t go his way,” Stevens said.

On the play in question, Brown was matched up with Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic. Brown began to make a move, and eventually spun away from Mirotic and left his feet.

Brown was called for the turnover when he left his feet to make a pass, but didn’t release the ball until after he had landed – a traveling violation.

“I was looking for an outlet,” said Brown in explaining his late-game miscue. “I should have just shot the ball but I was thinking it was a bad shot. I probably should have just shot it. I just saw Mirotic on me, slower feet. Coach (Stevens) told me to drive him so I tried to be aggressive. I should have made a play.”

Brown added, “Just have to come out and execute, and play the game the right way. I want to make coach feel like he has a reason to put me out on the floor.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Thursday night’s game.



Dwyane Wade

The Chicago native gave his family and friends plenty to cheer about on Thursday. In his first game playing for his hometown Chicago Bulls, Wade had 22 points which included a back-breaking 3-pointer with 26 seconds to play that pretty much sealed the Bulls victory. Consider this: He made a total of seven 3-pointers all last season. He had four on Thursday.

Isaiah Thomas

For the second straight game, Thomas tallied 25 points and continued to shoot the ball extremely well. His 25 points on Thursday came on 10-for-15 shooting. He also had four assists and three rebounds.

Jimmy Butler

Butler was among the Chicago players who shot the ball much, much better from 3-point range than they usually do. He finished with a team-high 24 points which included him knocking down four of his six 3-point attempts.



Avery Bradley

Bradley provided a nice offensive complement to Thomas’ high scoring night, finishing with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Bradley also made his presence felt on the boards and as a distributor with six rebounds and five assists.

Nikola Mirotic

He may have lost out on a starting job to Taj Gibson, but Mirotic’s value to the Bulls is clear. Mirotic had 15 points off the bench, shooting 6-for-11 from the field in addition to nine rebounds.



Second-chance points

Boston’s only two games into the season, but second-chance points looks to be an issue with no clear-cut solution. For the second straight game, Boston was outscored by double digits in second-chance points. On Thursday, Chicago had an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.