The Charlotte Hornets have acquired veteran swingman Courtney Lee from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade that will help bolster the team's perimeter shooting and defense after losing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to a shoulder injury.
COURTNEY LEE (Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
The Grizzlies get forward P.J. Hairston from Charlotte and big man Chris Andersen and two second-round draft picks from the Heat, who will get guard Brian Roberts from Charlotte, a person with knowledge of the trade told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday because the trade has not been officially announced.
The Hornets went into the All-Star break in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, just ahead of the Detroit Pistons, who bolstered their roster by adding Tobias Harris from the Magic on Tuesday. Just seven games after Kidd-Gilchrist made a surprisingly early return from a serious shoulder injury, he suffered another shoulder injury to deal a difficult blow to Charlotte's defense.
Lee is in his eighth NBA season and has established a reputation as a coveted "3 and D guy," a player who can knock down open 3-point shots while also serving as a capable defender on the wing.
Left: P.J. HAIRSTON (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Right: CHRIS ANDERSEN (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
The Grizzlies were in the market for help thanks to a serious injury themselves. Center Marc Gasol broke his right foot not long before the All-Star break, so Memphis is bringing Andersen in from the Heat to try and bolster its frontcourt depth. Andersen was a valuable role player during the Heat's run to a championship in 2012-13 and back to the NBA Finals the following season. But he has played in only seven games this season.
The trade also gives the Grizzlies a chance to look at Hairston, a second-year forward who has shown potential but has also dealt with off-the-court issues. He has started 43 games for the Hornets this season, averaging 6.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game.
The deal also creates more flexibility going into this summer with Andersen in the final year of his contract.
With Goran Dragic and Beno Udrih already cemented as the top two point guards, Roberts doesn't figure to factor immediately into the Heat's plans on the court. But the deal helps the Heat move closer to escaping the luxury tax.