The Boston Celtics worked with David Lee‘s agent to find the power forward out of Brad Stevens rotation a new home via trade, but his $15.5 million salary made that next to impossible. (He certainly would have been part of a big deal Boston nearly pulled off but that ultimately fell through.) When the trade deadline passed on Thursday, Lee was still a Celtic.
Friday, the Celtics announced they have waived Lee, part of a buyout agreement.
Once Lee clears waivers — a certainty, no team has the cap space to claim him off waivers — he will be an unrestricted free agent. The Dallas Mavericks are the front-runners to sign him, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Other teams will try to get their foot in the door with Lee, on a veteran minimum deal he provides real value. Lee has said his decision will be about winning but also about minutes and not being glued to the bench. As happened in Golden State last season (until the Finals) and Boston this season.
Dallas has Dirk Nowitzki at the four, Dwight Powell backs him up. There is Zaza Pachulia at the five, and JaVale McGee behind him. Lee could provide some minutes in that rotation, especially in a small ball lineup.
Celtics fans living in the Boston area and subscribing to Comcast Sportsnet, you can stream tonight’s Celtics game against the Jazz, just follow this link.