Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Courtney Lee easily could have signed with a team offering a larger contract. Instead, he chose the Celtics because he values winning and championship caliber teammates...
ESPN Boston has a great writeup on how Danny Ainge landed Courtney Lee. Long story short, it took luck, a friendship with Rajon Rondo, and a chance encounter with Doc Rivers. Lee sounds psyched to be here, too:
Lee admits there were better offers out there for him, but Boston's recruiting pitch -- particularly the offseason chats with Rondo, whose Kentucky roots matched up with those of Lee, a Western Kentucky product -- was too good to pass up.
"Everybody said the right things," Lee said. "There were other teams out there that were offering me more money, but like I said, my goal is to win. There's nothing better than winning. I got a little taste of that my rookie year [in Orlando] with going to the Finals, and that ride was unbelievable. My other years can't compare to that, but here, we're trying to get on that same race and that same track, and win."
"The core group of guys they had here [was attractive]," Lee said. "The expectation every year for this team is to win big, and that's one thing I wanted to do, was win big. Speaking with [Rajon] Rondo during the whole free-agency period, he had the same goals that I had in mind. We wanted to win big, get to the championship, and win. And not only for one year, but continue to do it. We're about the same age, me, him, Jeff [Green], and a couple other guys on this team are around the same age, so we've got the core group here of veterans, and we've still got the young guys who'll keep pushing for years to come."
It's worth reading the entire article, but another thing that stands out was that this was a complex deal. As Forsberg notes, the "complicated deal went down to essentially the very last minute (and nearly fell apart numerous times) before the Celtics were assured of obtaining Lee".
Courtney Lee is, in my mind, the guy that made this off-season go from decent to spectacular. I was pretty bummed about losing Ray Allen, but replacing him with a plus defender who can run the floor and who is still deadly from three took most of the sting out of Ray's departure. Arguably, Lee is going to be a better fit next to Rondo, especially defensively and in transition.
A guard rotation of Rondo / Lee / Terry / Bradley could be the best one we've had here in years. Kudos go to Danny, Doc, and Rondo for reeling him in, and for Lee to put championship aspirations over money.