David Lee: The Boston Celtics Elder Statesman
*Photo via the Boston Globe
This past Monday, the Boston Celtics officially acquired forward, David Lee, after completing a trade with the NBA Champion, Golden State Warriors. In exchange for Lee, the Celtics gave up shooter Chris Babb and veteran forward Gerald Wallace; a seemingly one-sided victory for the Celtics front office.
With the loss of power forward Brandon Bass; the six-nine Lee is welcomed with open arms by Celtics fans as he brings his veteran presence and very recent championship experience to a young and eager team. His scoring and rebounding ability will be vital to Boston’s run-and-gun offense, but his leadership and veteran presence should come second-to-none amongst his teammates. Lee should also benefit immensely running the pick-and-roll with Celtics star sixth-man, Isaiah Thomas, who led the team in scoring this past season.
Lee also brings veteran toughness to a squad that that is chock-full of youth. He is 32 years old on a team where no single player is older than 28. Lee is actually closer in age to 38 year-old head coach, Brad Stevens, than he is to almost all of his new Celtics teammates.
Despite the age difference, Lee shares with most of his teammates, he fits very nicely with the new era Celtics. He can run the floor, rebound the ball and dish it out with ease to any of the numerous wing players. He is known to be a team player, and that will benefit his teammates greatly, as many of them are impressionably young and need a solid presence to segue them into NBA.
It’s safe to say that both Lee and the Celtics are looking for the power forward to return to All-Star form. The two-time All-Star, who will wear his usual number 42 (which shockingly isn’t retired by the C’s!) averaged 18.5 points per game and 11.2 rebounds during the 2012-2013 season; statistically his best year with the Warriors.
Ultimately, Lee seems like a strong fit with the Celtics. His leadership on and off the court along with his offensive skill should bring about great things to the most successful franchise in professional basketball.