The Boston Celtics are trying to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Dallas Mavericks for Jason Terry that would allow them to sign free-agent guard Courtney Lee, according to reports from ESPN and The Boston Globe.
The Celtics finalized contracts with Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox on Saturday, but they left their agreement with Terry not finalized. The Celtics are trying to replace shooting guard Ray Allen, who left the team to sign with the Miami Heat, with Lee, who has said he wants to play for the Celtics.
The problem: From agreeing to deals with Terry — along with Bass, Garnett, Wilcox and Jeff Green — the Celtics only have their biannual exception ($1.975 million) with which to sign Lee. Lee said he has about eight teams interested in him, and the Celtics would likely not be able to entice him with the biannual exception.
So the Celtics are now attempting to free up their mid-level exception — about $5 million — by working out a sign-and-trade for Terry with the Mavericks. The problems are that the Celtics don't want to give up many of their young assets like JaJuan Johnson or E'Twaun Moore, and the Mavericks have other plans with their cap space. From ESPN:
The Mavericks and Celtics did discuss sign-and-trade scenarios to facilitate Terry's move to Boston early in free agency. But Dallas has since made other plans with its cap space, such as Friday's amnesty claim on Elton Brand, and are thus resistant to taking back Keyon Dooling or Sasha Pavlovic in a sign-and-trade, which would be necessary to make such a deal work.