The Case for Courtney Lee

(Infomercial voice:)

Are you tired of Keith Bogans? Tired of first and third quarters that make you wonder, am I watching the D-League affiliate? Are you paranoid about Noah playing 44 minutes in regulation so your team can stay in the game against a crappy Rockets squad? Well, we have the solution - it's called Courtney Lee. Watch - it plays offense AND defense! it won't cost you a Joakim Noah, and it comes with a built-in vendetta against the Magic! Courtney Lee. Now available in NBA front offices for one easy payment of only 1.3 million and, like, a draft pick or two, unless Darryl Morey decides to be a dick!

(cue highlight reel)

Seriously, though.

Everybody wants Mayo, but I don't see it. He makes a bunch of money - 4.4 million - and he'll eventually want more. His benching means that Heisley and Wallace are getting phone calls from around the NBA. Of course, they're idiots. But even so, you know JR's little minions are busy right now stacking up Derrick's benjamin pile. I doubt he wants any funds diverted for the inevitable big-bux Mayo deal. We'll get outbid then if not now.

On the other hand, Lee is kind of the perfect candidate:

He's a keep-your-head-down, hustle, play-defense kind of guy with a high bball IQ. Thibs will love him. Imagine how much better we'd be in the first and third quarter if our coach was actually willing to start a SG in possession of a freaking J. This year Lee's shooting 45% from the field, 47% from downtown. His career numbers are 44.3% and 37.8%, which still isn't bad considering he spent a year playing for one of the worst basketball teams in the history of basketball, or teams. Compare to Mayo's 44.4% FG and 38.3% 3P career numbers. (Just looked up TS% - 53.9% career, with this and all his other stats being weighed down by the unfortunate Nets days. By all accounts this year he is back on his A-game, although for whatever reason his FT% has dropped and that means his TS% is at 55.5% despite the fantastic three point numbers).

He can spot up, pull up, or put the ball on the floor. Draft Express called his jumper "picture perfect". He's not really a creator, but we're talking about the 3rd or 4th option here. Defenses will respect him and that means floor spacing; floor spacing means more Rose highlights against good defenses and the occasional 3-pointer that doesn't feel like a gift from the gods.

Draft Express also classified his best case scenario as Anthony Parker - since people are talking about picking HIM up, why not go for the younger, cheaper version? (It lists his worst case as Thabo Sefalosha. Bhuhh.)

And I love this little nugget: "the Magic got a player that will compliment their star Dwight Howard for years to come. Winning organizations always have selfless players like a Bruce Bowen, Raja Bell or Tayshaun Prince, and Lee fits that mold perfectly." And they traded him for Vince Carter. Ha!

The Rockets like him, which hurts our odds; he's all they got for Trevor Ariza and they'll probably want something to show for it. Also, Darryl Morey is a notorious trade rapist. But, I mean, they suck. And they sucked when they had Yao and Brooks. You gotta figure trades are a possibility if that keeps up.

I don't know what he'd command on the market but I know we can absorb his salary, which opens up the options.

I say he's the guy. Argue away.

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