Is Courtney Lee available?

One name that come up yesterday was Courtney Lee. If Redick's offer gets matched by the Magic, or even if it doesn't, I think Lee could be a great fit at 2 for the Bulls. He has good length for the position at 6'5 although his build is a little slighter than you might like. While he is not an elite athlete by any means, his athleticism is sufficient for the position, and is obviously a notch above Redick. Although not a great shooter, in his rookie year he shot 40% for the season on three-pointers. The most important quality for Lee is that he has the potential to be an elite defender and has demonstrated that ability in the playoffs. He has also demonstrated the ability to fit in and be a role player on a good team. Follow the jump for more detail.

Here is Hollinger's scouting report on Lee after the 2009 season:

Often compared to Richard Hamilton because of their similar builds, especially once he donned a facemask in last season's playoffs, Lee is likely to have a much more defense-oriented identity as a pro. He's a very good spot-up shooter, with last season's numbers backed by strong 3-point percentages as a collegian, but it's unlikely he'll ever be great at creating his own offense since he's neither a deceptive ball handler nor an explosive leaper.

Where he does excel, however, is at the other end. Most rookies struggle on defense, but Lee was the Magic's best on-ball defender from the get-go and has a good chance at becoming an elite defensive stopper. Even though he isn't powerfully built, he moves very well laterally. He needs to get better at drawing charges, though, as last season he took only five, and he needs to get stronger to defend post-ups better.

 Another scouting report from DraftExpress:

More often than not, the biggest adjustment for players entering the league is on the defensive end, due to the enhanced speed of the game. For Lee however, he’s had a fairly smooth transition on this side of the ball and has proven that he has a chance to become an elite defender in this league. Surely things are a bit easier with the NBA’s defensive player of the year patrolling the paint, but Lee’s attention to detail, effort, and athleticism have made him a pest to go up against.



His statistics are fairly meager, but as a defensive stopper-type player that is not really the important thing and as compared to a player like Ronnie Brewer, Lee is a far superior shooter. He shot 40% on 3s in 2008-2009 and had a TS% of 55%. Not too bad for a rookie. Although he slipped in his second year (33.8% and 52.6%), you have to assume that the looks he would be getting with the Bulls would be more comparable to the looks he was getting with the Magic as compared to the Nets. He is also very affordable. His salary for next year is $1.3 million with a $2.2 million team option for 2011-2012.  That is far less than what was offered to Redick and likely far less than would be paid to Brewer.

The final question that is perhaps the most important is whether or not he is available. Looking at the Nets' guard situation, the Nets have Devin Harris, Keyon Dooling, Terrence Williams, and Lee all under contract with an offer sheet out to Morrow. They also have Damion James (rookie SF/PF) and Quinton Ross (G/F) under contract. Williams is a 2/3 type, but they just gave big money to Outlaw and also drafted Favors, so you have to figure Williams is in the starting lineup. It is difficult to envision a scenario where Lee is in the starting lineup. Most likely the Nets will start Harris, Williams, Outlaw, Favors and Lopez with Morrow, Lee and Dooling as guards off the bench. It seems like  Lee could be had fairly cheaply.

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