Hornets Acquire Courtney Lee In Three-Teamer

Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports Images

Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports Images

6:45pm: Courtney Lee is headed to Charlotte as part of a three-team deal involving the Grizzlies, Heat and Hornets, all of whom have officially announced the trade that Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports originally reported. The Heat pick up Brian Roberts in the deal, while Lee is the only asset going to the Hornets, but the Grizzlies come away with two players and four second-round picks.

From Charlotte, the Grizzlies receive P.J. Hairston, Charlotte’s 2018 second-rounder and Brooklyn’s 2019 second-rounder, which the Hornets acquired this past summer. From Miami, Memphis gets Chris Andersen, Miami’s second-rounder for 2017, with top-40 protection, plus Boston’s 2019 second-rounder with top-55 protection that Miami acquired this past summer. USA Today’s Sam Amick and Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal reported the details of the picks changing hands (All Twitter links).

We are excited to be adding a quality veteran wing player to our roster in Courtney Lee,” Charlotte GM Rich Cho said in his team’s press release. “Courtney has proven to be a team defender, a consistent outside shooter and a solid scorer in our league for the past eight years.  Particularly in terms of experience, he adds depth to our roster in a position of need for us and we expect him to fit in to our system and contribute right away.”

The Memphis-bound Hairston had started on the wing for Charlotte in place of Kidd-Gilchrist while he dealt with an earlier shoulder injury that kept him out for the season’s first few months, so presumably Lee will slide into that spot alongside soon-to-be free agent Nicolas Batum. All four players involved are on expiring contracts, with Lee’s worth $5.675MM, Anderson making $5MM, Roberts getting close to $2.854MM and Hairston seeing more than $1.201MM. The Grizzlies won’t be able to re-sign Hairston to a deal with a starting salary of more than $1,253,160 for next season because the Hornets declined the team option they had for next year on his rookie scale contract.

Memphis, Charlotte and Miami are all dealing with significant health issues, too. Marc Gasol has a broken foot, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is out for the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder, and mystery surrounds the status of Chris Bosh as he deals with another blood clot. Miami is also missing Tyler Johnson until at least April, if not the rest of the season.

The Grizzlies had reportedly been testing the market for Lee, though they apparently rejected a proposal from the Timberwolves of Lee for Kevin Martin several weeks ago, before Gasol went down. Andersen had been a trade candidate for months, with the latest dispatch indicating that Miami was aggressively trying to trade him as repeat-offender tax penalties loom. The trade as reported lowers the Heat’s payroll by about $2.1MM, but Miami would still need to trim roughly another $3.4MM to sneak under the tax line.

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