The youthful Boston Celtics thrived during the second half of the 2014-15 regular season, but hit a roadblock as soon as they began their first-round playoff matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Boston matched Cleveland’s drive and grit, but it lacked All-Star caliber talent and players with extensive postseason experience.
At the time, the most experienced regular contributor on the roster was 29-year-old Brandon Bass, who parted ways with the team earlier in July when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Celtics weren’t interested in entering the 2015-16 campaign without obtaining a strong on-court veteran presence. Today, the organization addressed the concern, acquiring 32-year-old power forward David Lee from the defending champion Golden State Warriors, in exchange for Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb.
The 6-foot-9, two-time All-Star should step in as the most well-rounded offensive big man on the team. He will offer veteran leadership and more championship experience than the entire Celtics roster combined.
During his 10-year career – which has been split equally between New York and Golden State – Lee has averaged 14.7 points and 9.5 rebounds (2.7 offensive) per game. That includes a six-year stretch from 2008-14, during which he averaged 18.2 PPG and 10.7 RPG.
Last year, however, his numbers dropped significantly. Lee was sidelined early in the season with a leg injury, lost his spot in Golden State’s starting rotation to the up-and-coming Draymond Green, and saw his court time nearly cut in half to just 18.4 minutes per game. As a result, he averaged just 7.9 PPG and 5.2 RPG; his lowest output since his 2005-06 rookie campaign.
Lee has been given a chance to potentially return to that production in Beantown, on a team that could use his offensive prowess and likely provide him with the playing time he deserves.
While his scoring ability should be of great value to the team, Lee also has the potential to step in as the team’s top rebounder. His career average of 9.46 RPG is the eighth-highest active mark in the NBA and exceeds any single season Celtics mark since Al Jefferson corralled 11 per contest during the 2005-06 season.
Scoring-wise, most of Lee’s production comes from within the paint. During his last full NBA season in 2013-14, 79 percent of his shot attempts were taken from within the lane. You’re not going to see him extend his shot past the arc very …Read More