Courtney Lee is gone and Jerryd Bayless is here. In a world of fantasy style trades and financial transactions, it is easy to miss the human element. Courtney Lee's tenure didn't go according to plan, but he was a well liked member of the team and he performed well after a slow start to his Boston career. In steps Mr. Bayless, who's no stranger to stepping into new situations.
"I have bounced around a lot, and I am looking for a home where I can settle in," the 25-year-old guard said at yesterday morning’s shootaround. "It’s not a negative thing, because at the end of the day someone else wants you. That’s the way I try to look at it. Hopefully this can be one of my last stops."
He's been traded 4 times and played for 5 teams. Plus his contract is expiring and he's playing on a team with two other guys that have similar reputations for being streaky scorer types (Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks). I appreciate his desire to want to stick around, and he may very well be here long term (Danny Ainge has apparently had his eye on him for a while now). With all that said, my advice to him is to rent, not buy for the time being.
He'll also need to find his place in the rotation. Right now he's backing up Crawford at the point and playing some off guard as well. Once Rondo returns, there will be a lot less point guard minutes to go around, so he'll be splitting time with Avery Bradley and Crawford.
One thing he has going for him is the memories we all have of him torching us on multiple occasions.
His 22-point, 9-for-11 performance against the Celts on Nov. 27 in Memphis was Bayless' only 20-plus game this season. His 30-point performance last March 23 in Memphis was also a season high.
Hopefully it was a fondness for the color green and not our defense (or lack thereof) that caused him to perform so well those nights.
Regardless, it is time to get to know Jerryd the Celtic. His reputation is that he's fearless and confident. He's not always "on" but when he is, it can be a sight to behold.
Also, much like Lee before him, he appears to be a well liked individual. See this from the Grizzly Bear Blues blog.
Readers of this site may recall that I am a fervent Jerryd Bayless fan. It was disappointing to see him struggle this season after he picked up the player option that no one thought he'd pick up - specifically because he liked it here in Memphis. His fancy for Memphis was exemplified in how he treated those with which he interacted around town, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a waiter or waitress that didn't [enjoy] serving JB.
Hopefully he'll be as well liked in Boston and finds himself a home here. He's got a lot of talent and might be a nice (if somewhat minor) piece of the puzzle going forward.