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Celtics Intend To Trade David Lee Or Work Buyout

The Celtics intend to either trade David Lee by the February 18th deadline or work a buyout with him, as the power forward who’s out of the rotation would like to play elsewhere, according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck (Twitter link). Boston made him available several weeks ago, as TNT’s David Aldridge reported in December, and A. Sherrod Blakely of wrote this morning that Lee and his representatives are cooperating with the Celtics to funnel him to a new team.

Blakely suggests it would take the inclusion of Lee, plus other assets, for a deal with the Rockets for Dwight Howard to work, but those apparent talks between Houston and Boston aren’t expected to blossom into more than just a discussion, the scribe hears. Lee said a month ago that it was more frustrating for him not to receive playing time on this year’s Celtics than it was for him on last year’s title-winning Warriors, though he was careful not to stir controversy as he spoke of his frustration and disagreement with coach Brad Stevens‘ decision to remove him from the rotation. The former All-Star is averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per contest this season but hasn’t appeared in a game since January 10th.

Lee is on an expiring contract that gives him a salary of nearly $15.494MM. That’s a difficult number for trade purposes, as only the Trail Blazers have the cap space necessary to absorb him without sending out a comparable amount of salary. No team has a trade exception large enough to accommodate Lee. Chris Crouse of Hoops Rumors shared some ideas for Lee swaps this past weekend amid his broader look at the 32-year-old’s trade candidacy.

The Celtics and Lee would face a de facto deadline of March 1st, the last day players can hit waivers and still be eligible to play in the postseason for another team, to arrange a buyout if he remains in Boston past the trade deadline. It’s unclear how much salary the Mark Bartelstein client would consider sacrificing in such an arrangement.

Do you see a fit for Lee on another team? Share your ideas with a comment.

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8 thoughts on “Celtics Intend To Trade David Lee Or Work Buyout

  1. bobhutt99

    Love to see him back with the Knicks. One of my favorite players. Hardworking blue collar fan favorite.

  2. As much as I would love to have DLee back with the Warriors, the team is at the full 15 man roster and would need to trade/waive a player to make that happen, which I don’t see happening. I also like Lee going to the Knicks, but it would have to wait until Thanasis Antetokoumpo’s 10-day contract expires when the Knicks have an open roster spot.

  3. Godgiftsjoejr

    yes d Lee need to come back to the knicks

  4. victor

    i think he would be a pretty good fit with a few playoff fringe teams, so assuming he gets bought out he could sign anywere he chooses or would it work similliar to a waiver wire and teams could put claims in on him ?

  5. Daniel

    I don’t see Lee going to the Mavericks nor the Knicks. I do see him going to the twolves or the magic

  6. Xyrak

    Would have to wonder if the Blazers do in fact take on that contract in exchange for a pick. The salary dump would certainly be of great help to Boston without anything else coming back.

    • Blazers aren’t going to do that trade unless they get value back. Considering they are rebuilding and not in the thick of the playoff race, purely trading for him isn’t enough value. Either Boston would have to send some sort of picks back (multiple second rounders) or a young player/draft and stash guy the Blazers might really like.

      • They could send Marcus Thorntons rights, however at that point it would just make more sense to not send any assets and just either buy him out or let his contract expire. The only way I see a trade working out would be with him included in a larger deal or if they got back expiring contracts in return that would fit the teams current needs (Shooting, Shot blocking)

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