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Celtics acquire Lee from Rockets in multi-team trade

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Associated Press
7/20/2012 6:26:54 PM
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HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets will send Courtney Lee to the Boston Celtics as part of a multi-team, sign-and-trade deal, completed on Friday.

The Rockets will receive a second-round pick in next year's draft from Boston (a pick that originally owned by Charlotte), forward JaJuan Johnson, guard E'Twaun Moore and forward/centre Sean Williams. Houston will also acquire the rights to guard Jon Diebler from Portland. The Celtics completed the deal by trading guard/forward Sasha Pavlovic to Portland.

Houston previously withdrew a qualifying offer for Lee, which made him an unrestricted free agent. The 6-foot-5 Lee played two seasons in Houston, averaging 9.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 139 games.

Yahoo Sports reported that Lee's deal is for four years and $21.5 million. Lee, a first-round draft pick by Orlando out of Western Kentucky in 2008, announced that he had signed on his Twitter account earlier Friday, before the teams wrapped up the other details of the deal.

"Want to thank all the ppl in Houston friends and fans," Lee wrote. "Enjoyed my time. Also would like to thank all the Cs fans for the love."

Lee is a 38.6 per cent career shooter from 3-point range and could fill the void left by Ray Allen's departure. Allen, the NBA's career leader in 3-pointers made, bolted from Boston after five seasons to join Miami. The Celtics have also added guard Jason Terry and got Kevin Garnett back since losing to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.

"We are very excited that we were able to acquire Courtney Lee," said Danny Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations. "Courtney brings a vast set of tools on both ends of the court and will be a great fit on our roster."

The Rockets, meanwhile, continued to reshape their roster after introducing Jeremy Lin at a press conference on Thursday. Houston is also expected to sign Bulls centre Omer Asik to a three-year, $25 million offer sheet.

The 6-foot-10 Johnson averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 36 games as a rookie for the Celtics last season. He was drafted 27th overall in the 2011 draft by New Jersey and was traded to Boston. Johnson ranks second in Purdue history in blocks (263), fifth in rebounds (854) and seventh in scoring (1,919 points). He was named the Big Ten's top player and best defensive player as a senior in 2010-11, becoming only the third player in the conference's history to win both awards in the same season.

The 6-4 Moore was Johnson's teammate at Purdue. He was chosen 55th overall by the Celtics in 2011. The 6-10 Williams has played for New Jersey, Dallas and Boston in 137 career NBA games. He was taken 17th overall by the Nets in the 2007 draft.

Diebler, a 3-point specialist, was a second-round pick by Portland in 2011. The 6-6 guard played for the Greek team Panionios last year after setting the Big Ten record for 3-pointers made as a senior (114) at Ohio State. He also led the nation in 3-point shooting in 2010-11 (.502).

Courtney Lee (Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)
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