The Boston Celtics have acquired power forward David Lee from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Gerald Wallace, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
ESPN sources say that the Celtics have agreed to send Gerald Wallace to the Warriors for David Lee
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 7, 2015
Lee, 32, will likely find himself with a more prominent role in Celtic green next season as he leaves the Golden State. At one time, Lee was one of the Warriors biggest offensive threats, one the reasons why the team signed him to a six-year contract worth $79.5 million in 2010.
However, injuries took Lee out of the starting lineup last season, allowing Draymond Green to flourish while Lee was relegated to bench duties. The former two-time All-Star was the Warriors’ highest paid player last season, which made his demotion even more surprising. His season averages dipped to 7.9 PPG and 5.2 RPG through just 49 games.
While speaking to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Lee confirmed that he did his best to accept the role he was given in Golden State, despite even his family members questioning his role on the team.
“A lot of friends and family say, you haven’t played as much, you [probably] can’t stand Steve. I’ve answered: ‘In fact I get along with him great off the court and he’s been very honest with me on where I stand.’ That’s all you can ask. I’d like to play more, but he’s done an unbelievable job as coach.”
Now, Lee and his $15.49 million salary for 2015-2016 will head east to Boston, where he figures to receive significantly more playing time. The former New York Knick was rumored to potentially return home to the Big Apple, in a recent report from the Inquisitr. But he will now oppose his former team by playing for the rival, Celtics.
As for the Warriors, they receive a versatile player in Wallace. In recent years, his production has gone down significantly as injuries and age slowed him down. Last season, the one-time All Star averaged an anemic 1.1 PPG and 1.8 RPG in 32 games.
One of the reasons that acquiring Wallace made sense for the Warriors was that they could use the stretch provision on him. That would allow the team to waive Wallace and spread out his current salary over the next three seasons, giving the team more financial flexibility.
But despite the obvious upside in waiving him and his considerable decline, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo.com hears that the Warriors plan on keeping Wallace, for now.
The Warriors plan to keep newcomer forward Gerald Wallace, sources told Yahoo Sports. — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 7, 2015
There appears to be another player headed to Golden State in this trade, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. The reason for that is to make the financial particulars of the trade work.
Ultimately, the Celtics come out looking like the big winner in this trade, as they are acquiring a player who is just a year removed from posting 18.2 PPG 9.3 RPG for a Warriors team that made the playoffs.
[Image by Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images]