Boston Celtics Get Courtney Lee in Sign-and-Trade With Houston Rockets (UPDATE)

UPDATE, via the Boston Herald: “”It took awhile and a couple of false starts, but the Celtics got their man [Thursday] night, acquiring Courtney Lee from Houston in a sign and trade for JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Sean Williams, Sasha Pavlovic and a second-round draft pick. The paperwork is expected to be finalized [Friday]. The deal originally had Phoenix and New Orleans as facilitators, but that came apart late yesterday afternoon Pacific time. Late last night, Portland became the third team and Pavlovic was included. The amended details were still being learned as the Herald’s final print deadline passed, but the Celts will clearly be ecstatic to acquire the coveted 6-foot-5 Lee without disturbing their main rotation. […] The transaction appeared to hit a snag during the afternoon, but both sides said it was back on track later in the day. Sources told the Herald there were still moving parts and that other teams had been involved at different points. Because the move is a sign and trade, Lee will be able to get right around the $5 million midlevel exception the club used on Jason Terry. The C’s had been trying to make the Terry deal a sign and trade to keep the slot open for Lee, but it appears they have found another way to get him the money he was seeking as a free agent.”

The Boston Celtics got their man, as they acquired Courtney Lee from the Houston Rockets in exchange for JaJuan Johnson. Reports the Boston Globe: “Lee, 25, had been No. 1 on the Celtics’ list after Ray Allen signed with the Miami Heat, but the Celtics did not have enough salary cap space to sign Lee outright. Lee was seeking in the $5 million per season range, and the Celtics have apparently put together some contracts and draft picks that enticed the Rockets to sign Lee to a deal and then send him to the Celtics. Johnson, the Celtics’ first-round pick in 2011, never found a role with the club and his lack of development privately bothered some team officials. He struggled in stretches during summer league and with the signings of Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green and the drafting of Jared Sullinger, his role this season was likely minute. Lee, 26, averaged 11.4 points per game last season for the Rockets, who decided not to give him a qualifying offer, making him a free agent. Lee is a career 38.6 percent 3-point shooter who is also an above-average defender. He dined with Celtics coach Doc Rivers on July 7 and expressed a desire to play with the Celtics — at the right salary.”