Courtney Lee Hoping For NBA Return

Longtime NBA swingman Courtney Lee is hoping to make his return to the league after undergoing calf surgery in 2020, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“I’m 100% recovered (from the calf surgery) and hoping I can get on with a team for training camp,” Lee said, per MacMahon. “I am definitely not retired.”

Lee, 35, may be clarifying a quote from a recent interview with Jared MacDonald of The Bowling Green Daily News, in which he himself alluded to retirement.

“Man, I’m going into the first year of being retired,” Lee is quoted as having told MacDonald. “I’m picking up golf. It’s a new hobby for me. It’s keeping me busy… I’m enjoying the down time. I get to spend time with my family and live life normal, so I’m enjoying where I’m at right now.”

A 12-year NBA veteran, Lee was selected with the No. 22 pick in the 2008 draft by the Magic out of Western Kentucky. He soon became the starting shooting guard for the lone Dwight Howard-fronted Magic team to make the NBA Finals in 2009.

Lee subsequently logged time with the Nets, Rockets, Celtics, Grizzlies, Hornets, and Knicks. His most recent stop was a stint with the Mavericks following a 2019 trade deadline deal with New York. He last suited up for Dallas during the 2019/20 season.

Provided he has recovered fully from his calf surgery, Lee should still hold value as a sharpshooting bench reserve. The 6’5″ shooting guard, an unrestricted free agent since the 2020 offseason, has appeared in 811 NBA games (518 starts), and holds career averages of 9.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.0 SPG. His career shooting line is .451/.388/.853.

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