|Bayless has been on five different NBA teams so far in his six NBA seasons, but has proven to be a reliable bench scorer in recent years|
Yet another trade (and another, too) has been made in this transaction-active 2013-14 season, and it's one that may fly under the radar for many NBA fans, but holds some intrigue for those a little more knowledgeable with the league.
Jerryd Bayless, a journeyman reserve guard, was traded a few days ago from the Memphis Grizzlies to the surprising Boston Celtics in exchange for Courtney Lee. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, some more draft picks are likely involved and even a third team, as former Celtic Ryan Gomes is also expected to head to Boston from Oklahoma City.
The Celtics, after their firesale of an offseason, actually have not been too bad this season, and were even in first place in the horrifically weak Atlantic Division a few weeks ago. Now, in the midst of a four-game losing streak, the Celtics are currently out of the playoff picture with a 13-21 record.
The acquistion of Bayless serves two key roles for the Celtics as he is a pretty good scoring option for Brad Stevens to use off the bench or even in the starting lineup in addition to the fact that his contract expires after this season (Lee's runs for two more years).
So the trade both makes Boston a better team right now, as they prepare for a possible playoff run in the weaker Eastern Conference, and gives them salary cap flexibility going forward.
The Grizzlies, conversely, made this trade more for basketball reasons that anything else. With sharpshooting Quincy Pondexter out for the season with an injury, Memphis needed another three-point shooting option, getting just that in Courtney Lee.
Afflicted by a rash of injuries so far, the Grizzlies are out of the playoff picture with a 15-18 record but are just 3.5 games back out of 8th place, meaning postseason play is far from an impossibility.
This deal, of course, is a prelude to the bigger moves that are expected as teams begin positioning themselves for the Playoffs or the lottery. It appears that the Cavaliers are set to announce they have acquired Luol Deng in exchange for Andrew Bynum. We will have more on this deal later on today as details emerge.