Lee ready to play his under-the-radar game in Boston


Lee ready to play his under-the-radar game in Boston

There's been a lot of talk surrounding the revamped Boston Celtics heading into the 2012-13 season.

Jason Terry is going to lead the bench and provide the scoring punch.

Jeff Green is healthy and going to add versatility at the forward position.

Chris Wilcox is also back, and will provide the size Boston lacked at times down the stretch.

One new guy you don't hear about much -- even though he should have a major role on the team -- is Courtney Lee.

Lee was traded over the offseason in a deal that included former C's first round pick JaJuan Johnson, but the guard's game is rather unknown around these parts.

"I'm just a guy who's going to knock down open shots, attack the basket, try to get to the free throw line three to four times a game," Lee said on Tuesday in Turkey. "Then on the defense end try to make plays defensively, guard their best perimeter player, and just play team defense. The on transition, get out and run."

But does Lee mind that he seems to have been overlooked throughout most of his NBA career, including the start of his tenure with Boston? Nope.

"That's fine with me," he said. "I'll fly under the radar. All those guys can take all the attention. That's just going to open more opportunities for me, so that's fine with me."

Lee is right. If opponents are busy worrying about doubling Kevin Garnett down low, or collapsing on a driving Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo, Lee is going to benefit greatly. He doesn't have the long-ball respect Ray Allen has, but with enough open shots he could.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers knows Lee well on and off the court. He's not taking Lee's all-around "solid" game for granted.

"Just solid play. I think he's a really good basketball player," Rivers said. "I think when people hear 'solid play' they think average, but he's a way better than average player. But we want him to be that in how he plays. he just does a lot of things well, so just be him."

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Zach Lowe’s most recent podcast is worth a listen, as it features plenty of talk about what the Celtics may or may not due ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Lowe brought up the possibility of the Celtics top-1 or top-2-protecting Brooklyn’s first-round pick and including it in a deal for Butler. He surmises that the inclusion of the Brooklyn pick -- protected or not -- might not come until the final minutes. 

“Look, if Butler gets traded or if Paul George gets traded, that’s when it’s going to happen,” Marc Stein responded. “It’s going to happen in the last five to 10 minutes, so Boston has to make a decision, and let's see if they’re doing the math that they’ve had these assets for a while and it is time to do something bold and the time is now. Really, I think Boston will do it. The question is what will Chicago or Indiana do? And those are two hard reads.” 

Stein spoke to the Celtics’ lack of activity at certain points, but he said that if the C’s do fail to come away with a star player Thursday, it won’t be for lack of aggressiveness. 


“I think the Celtics are taking criticism for waiting, and they’ve had all these assets they haven’t moved yet, but I think the record shows that Danny Ainge in general, in total, is very aggressive, not afraid to roll the dice, not afraid to make the aggressive move,” Stein said. “So I have less doubt about Boston saying, ‘Let’s just do it.’ I have far more questions about what Chicago and/or Indiana would do.” 

Lowe said that he imagines the Bulls would “think about” trading the C's Butler if Boston threw in the Nets’ pick unprotected, but added that Chicago would demand to also take two players out of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

“I think that will be the offer and they’ll get there and Chicago will either have a moment where they say, ‘We walk away or we’ll do it.’ And Boston’s not going to throw in the other Nets pick,” Lowe said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Rating the aforementioned foursome in terms of trade value, Lowe said that Crowder is the best piece because of his “ridiculously good” contract, followed by Brown, Smart and Bradley. 

Lowe added that he considers Bradley one of the “sneaky interesting pieces at this trade deadline” because his contract is up after next season, which is the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract expires. Lowe says that given the uncertainty of his future in Boston, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Bradley is moved at the deadline. 

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 


Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.