NBA rumors are stating that the Boston Celtics and David Lee have reached an agreement on a buyout, according to Hoops Rumors. The Dallas Mavericks have reportedly become the top candidates to land the 6’10”, 250 pound forward. The Mavericks are trying to catch up to the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, so adding some firepower to the bench would help them with that goal.
David Lee hasn’t had very much luck over the past two years. He was pushed out of the rotation when the Golden State Warriors experimented with a small ball lineup by inserting guard Andre Iguodala in for center Andrew Bogut. The experiment made the Warriors into a juggernaut, so Lee was the odd man out. David waited patiently in the shadows before the Warriors traded him to the Boston Celtics after winning the NBA Championship.
Since the Boston Celtics were a rebuilding team, David Lee was under the impression that he would be receiving a lot of minutes and a lot of opportunities on offense while the younger players were being groomed. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had other plans in mind. He opted to give the minutes to the younger players immediately, so Lee found himself out of the rotation once again, logging a total of 26 minutes since the beginning of January.
Despite the lack of minutes over the last two seasons, NBA executives and coaches know that David Lee has talent. This is the same guy that had 65 double doubles in a season for the New York Knicks. In his best season for the Knicks, Lee averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, which puts him in an elite class. His numbers might not be that high again, but he can still be an asset, especially for a team heading to the playoffs.
As many already know, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has vowed to put together as competitive of a team as he can because he feels that he owes it to Dirk Nowitzki, who should be retiring before very long. Cuban doesn’t want his star player, one that finally brought a championship to the Mavericks, to play in meaningless games during his final years, much like what Kobe Bryant is doing during his farewell tour with the Los Angeles Lakers.
When DeAndre Jordan changed his mind at the last minute, he left the Dallas Mavericks in a very tough situation. Mark Cuban had to scramble to find a new starting center because Tyson Chandler had slipped away while they were pursuing Jordan. Things looked bleak. Then, the Mavericks sent a second round draft pick to the Milwaukee Bucks and landed Zaza Pachulia, the veteran performer who has solidified the center position for Dallas better than expected.
Once the Dallas Mavericks can get their hands on David Lee, then he more than likely will become the first big man off the bench. Though center is not his preferred position, Lee can come in for Zaza Pachulia, especially if Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle needs a boost on offense. Carlisle can then utilize Dirk Nowitzki as a stretch forward, while Lee can do his work from the low post blocks.
The marriage between David Lee and the Dallas Mavericks looks like it should work out for everyone involved. David Lee not only gets playing time again, he also becomes a top reserve for a team that should have a decent chance at making the NBA Playoffs. For the Mavericks, this moves works out really well because they were able to add a veteran contributor without being forced to give up one of their young developing players or draft choices.
[Featured Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]