Courtney Lee is one of those below-the-radar NBA players.
He was the 22nd pick in the 2008 draft and has carved out a very solid 11-year NBA career. As recently as 2017-18, he averaged 12 points and shot better than 40 percent from the 3-point arc.
Of course, that was with the Knicks, who weren’t exactly world-beaters.
In his rookie season, he was a starter for the Orlando Magic that reached the NBA finals, losing to the Lakers in five games. They beat a Cleveland team led by LeBron James that season.
In between, Lee earned a reputation as a respected shooting guard who could impact games at both ends of the court. That was what earned him a four-year, $48-million deal from the Knicks before the 2016-17 season.
He’ll be heading into the final year of that contract next season with the Mavericks.
Lee, a 6-5 product from Western Kentucky, played 34 games last season, 22 of them with the Mavericks after being part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
He did not have a major impact with the Mavericks – until the final six games he played.
In that span, he started four times, averaged 19.7 minutes per game and 7.7 points while shooting 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
Those numbers won’t rival what he’s done over the course of his career. But they do indicate that, given the right role, Lee still has the potential to be a productive contributor.
What we don’t know is what the Mavericks’ shooting guard situation will look like next season. Much is yet to be determined in that regard.
But Rick Carlisle adores shooting and Lee can still provide that. All of which should give him ample opportunity to give the Mavericks a bigger sample size on what Lee can add to the team in 2019-20.