Celtics At 7: Lee-For-Bayless Trade Proves Danny Ainge’s Long Term Mindset
BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics currently sit just 2.5 games behind the second worst record in the NBA.
What once started out as a promising, overachieving possible playoff team is now slipping – and slipping fast.
The Celtics have lost seven of their last eight games, and the prospect of immediate improvement looks slim as Rajon Rondo’s return date has not yet been set, in addition to the team’s tough Western Conference road trip that’s underway.
Meanwhile, a trade was made between the Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies. The C’s sent guard Courtney Lee to the Grizzlies in exchange for fifth-year guard Jerryd Bayless.
Bayless, who is averaging 8.1 points and 2.1 assists in 20.8 minutes per game this season, is in the final year of his contract. He gives Boston a decent backup guard who can help Jordan Crawford (and Rajon Rondo when he returns from injury) handle the ball out of the back court.
Adam Jones loves the move, because the deal accomplishes one of Danny’s goals heading into the season: shedding the remaining two years of Lee’s contract.
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Lee was due to earn $11.1 million over the next two seasons, and sending him to Memphis not only sheds those two years, but also takes $2.1 million off the books for this season. The Celtics move over $2 million below the luxury tax line with the trade.
“I look at this trade and I think it tells you a lot about Danny Ainge’s long term mindset, which I agree with: it’s not about this season, it’s about the future,” said Adam Jones Monday night.
Jones wouldn’t go so far as to call the move “tanking” – but he’s of the belief that the deal was more about the contract than the player, so you can draw your own conclusions.
“You try to get that home run player [in Bayless], and if it doesn’t work out you’re totally correcting your salary cap situation going forward. If I’m a Celtics fan, this move should tell you all you need to know about the direction of this team.”
Adam Jones and Rich Keefe break down the trade, and what this means for the Celtics this year and beyond – listen below: