clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Boston Celtics acquire David Lee from Golden State Warriors

New, comments

C's exchange expiring contracts of overpaid former stars.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We're still waiting for the Boston Celtics to pull off the blockbuster trade that has been eagerly anticipated ever since they went into asset gathering mode to kick start their latest rebuilding effort. In the meantime, Trader Danny is keeping busy improving his roster little bits at a time, while maintaining flexibility for the future.

This isn't a deal that will move the needle much, but David Lee could help this team. The former All-Star is coming off of a disappointing season that saw him lose his starting job while battling injuries. He averaged 7.9 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game, but was hardly sniffing the court by the time the playoffs rolled around and was used sparingly on the Warriors' path to the title.

Yet Lee is only a year removed from a season in which he averaged over 18 points and 9 rebounds. If healthy, there's a chance he could return to something close to that level. At least on a per minute basis anyway, as he will probably come off the bench, despite being the team's highest paid player. Considering Gerald Wallace barely saw the court last season, it's a risk worth taking.

Lee and Wallace are both on expiring contracts, so the Celtics retain their payroll flexibility heading into 2016. Lee is set to make just under $15.5 million this season, while Wallace's contract is for about $10.1 million. Unless other players are involved, the Celtics will have to be creative in order for this deal to work.

One possibility is that they could hold off on making the Amir Johnson signing official until this trade is completed, allowing them to use their available cap space to make up the approximately $5.4 million difference in salaries. They would then need to get Toronto to agree to a sign-and-trade so that they could fit Johnson's new deal into the trade exception created from the Rajon Rondo deal last winter.

We also have to consider that even after the Lee trade, this roster still seems like an unfinished product. More moves could be on the way to help balance the roster and make some sense out of their recent moves.