Players > Retired > Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee
SG - 6'5, 215lbs - 38 years old - 12 years of NBA experience
Retired - Retired after 2021 season
  • Birthdate: 10/03/1985
  • Drafted (NBA): 22nd pick, 2008
  • Pre-draft team: Western Kentucky
  • Country: USA
  • Hand: Right
  • Agent: -
2008 NBA DraftNBADrafted 22nd overall by Orlando.
3rd July, 2008NBASigned four year, $6,018,413 rookie scale contract with Orlando. Included team options for 2010/11 and 2011/12.
25th June, 2009NBATraded by Orlando, along with Rafer Alston and Tony Battie, to New Jersey in exchange for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.
29th October, 2009NBANew Jersey exercised 2011/12 team option.
11th August, 2010NBAAs a part of a four team deal, traded to New Jersey to Houston in exchange for Troy Murphy from Indiana.
28th October, 2010NBAHouston exercised 2011/12 team option.
20th July, 2012NBAAs a part of a three team deal, signed and traded by Houston with a four year, $21.35 million contract to Boston in exchange for E'Twaun Moore, Joel Bolomboy), in exchange for Jerryd Bayless from Memphis and Ryan Gomes and cash from Oklahoma City.
16th February, 2016NBAAs a part of a three team deal, traded by Memphis to Charlotte, along with cash, in exchange for P.J. Hairston, a 2018 second round pick and a 2019 second round pick from Charlotte, and along with Chris Andersen, a protected 2017 second round pick (deferred to 2018) and a 2019 second round pick from Miami.
8th July, 2016NBASigned a four year, $48,003,340 contract with New York.
10th December, 2018G-LeagueAssigned by New York to Westchester Knicks of the G-League.
12th December, 2018G-LeagueRecalled by New York from Westchester Knicks of the G-League.
31st January, 2019NBATraded by New York, along with Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr and Kristaps Porzingis, to Dallas in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Wes Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr, a 2021 first round pick and a 2023 first round pick.
Career Moves
2004 - 2008Western Kentucky (NCAA)
June 2008 - June 2009Orlando Magic (NBA)
June 2009 - August 2010New Jersey Nets (NBA)
August 2010 - July 2012Houston Rockets (NBA)
July 2012 - January 2014Boston Celtics (NBA)
January 2014 - February 2016Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
February 2016 - June 2016Charlotte Hornets (NBA)
July 2016 - January 2019New York Knicks (NBA)
January 2019 - presentDallas Mavericks (NBA)
Articles about Courtney Lee

June 29, 2017

Courtney Lee
SG, 6’5, 200lbs, 31 years old, 9 years of experience

Lee is a system player who could not do much to offset the discord in the system around him. Nevertheless, he did the same sort of things he always does; good spotting up from outside the three-point line, some pull-up twos, pretty good rebounding for his size, the occasional four minute where-the-hell’d-this-come-from offensive spurt, extra passing, minimal turnovers, trying on defence without being big enough to contest or slow down opposing wings much. Into the back third of his career, his value is good now but will diminish later. At some point between now and the end of next July, it is probably worth trading him.

Player Plan: Three years and circa $36.76 million left. While it is hereby noted that offer-ing Holiday that contract above would mean a slight redundancy and an expensive duo, both have resale value down the road with their two-way games, and could represent assets. Likewise, Lee is worth keeping for now, potentially moveable from the upcoming dead-line onwards.

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January 8, 2014

Memphis are said to have targeted Lee. The deal was thus their idea. This is...fine, potentially. If Courtney Lee continued to play at the standard that he has done this season, then he is both worthy (just) of his price tag, and a useful fit for the Grizzlies. They need an extra secondary ball-handler with adequate defense and good outside shooting, and Lee, with his better jumpshooting and size, is more suited for this role than Bayless.

However, Memphis is now committed at Lee for $5,450,000 next season, and $5,675,000 the year after. This is in addition to paying Quincy Pondexter $3,146,068 next season in the first year of his four year, $16 million extension, plus paying a significantly struggling Tayshaun Prince $7,707,865 in the final season of his unnecessary deal. That is a combined $16.4 million on a trio of useful but flawed wings without there being a starting calibre player in the bunch.

It's not wrong to want role playing wings who provide a solid complimentary job on both ends, and all three can be said to be so. It is not even necessarily wrong to pay them at those prices - Prince is significantly overpaid, but the other two are acceptable overpays, paid 30% too much for at least a year too long yet tolerable in isolation. But it is wrong to tie up your limited payroll flexibility on limited, duplicative backups. They are not in isolation. They are on the same team. Combine them with Tony Allen's reasonable but lengthy contract - he willl earn a steady $4,831,461 next season, but will still be earning $5.5 million when he is 35 - and the Grizzlies are ever more heavily invested at a position where they still need a lot of help. The second rounder that Boston enclosed to compensate for the excess that is Lee's contract might end up being a valuable one, yet this should not be sufficient justification.

Memphis are by and large capped out. With Lee now in the fold, they already have $69 million committed to next season, the only three not fully guaranteed contracts being Kosta Koufos ($500,000 of $3 million guaranteed), Nick Calathes ($816,482, fully unguaranteed) and Zach Randolph (a $16,938,333 player option). Koufos surely will not be waived, while Calathes's deal is too small to make much difference either way. And if Randolph opts out, it is more than likely to re-sign for a slightly smaller price on a longer deal.

That leaves Memphis not a whole lot of wriggle room under a luxury tax threshold most recently estimated to be at $75.7 million. They are not in imminent danger of paying it, yet they are in sufficient proximity to prevent spending all their assets. Ideally, they would be able to retain Ed Davis and James Johnson, whilst beng able to utilise their MLE and their six traded player exceptions. In reality, they now cannot. Lee may have cost them Davis. This seems like the wrong choice to make.

This is all in an attempt to land Lee, a guard about as average as can be. Memphis needed an average guard, especially one with a 39% career three point shooting mark. Yet their need to be frugal has not been sufficiently met. They had the leverage, as evidenced by the inclusion of the pick. Boston needed the salary relief more than Memphis needed the average player. With a season ending injury, four guaranteed years left on his deal, and underwhelming play when healthy, Pondexter certainly is not movable for any value at the moment - similarly, declining quickly, Prince is highly unlikely to be moved via trade (unless someone out there is gullible enough to be sold on past glories). The trio are here to stay, then, and the situation both now and for the foreseeable future is confused.

All teams need "three and D" wing specialists. But they need them from the same player.

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June 9, 2011

[...] The choice of Jackson over the other candidates was deliberate, and only slightly motivated by cost. Andre Iguodala is better at small forward, ball dominant, not nearly as good of a shooter as he thinks he is, and not nearly the calibre of half-court creator he so desperately wants to be.26 A backcourt of Derrick Rose and Monta Ellis cannot stop anybody, and while it would thrive in the open court, it effectively mitigates itself in the half court. J.R. Smith can't be trusted, and was once traded by the Bulls for Adrian Griffin and Aaron Gray, which is no endorsement at all. Anthony Parker is no longer starting calibre. Michael Heisley has seemingly made the cost of acquiring O.J. Mayo unnecessarily prohibitive, particularly for one so average. Jason Richardson no longer wants to dribble, defend, or do anything much to get open without the ball. Vince Carter is emphatically done. Denver should (or ought) match a full MLE deal to Arron Afflalo. Courtney Lee won't come for anything less than Omer Asik, which is not a deal worth making. The Daniel Gibson, Jamal Crawford and Leandro Barbosa-types would be most useful, but only as hard-to-acquire backups. And Richard Hamilton is.......well, no.

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