Report: Grizzlies trade Courtney Lee to Hornets in 3-team deal with Heat
The Charlotte Hornets have had a rough go of things this season in regards to injury. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist first went down with a torn labrum in the preseason, but returned ahead of schedule in January. However, he suffered another torn labrum just before the All-Star break and is now out for the season. Subsequently, the Hornets have been in the market to add a wing at the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline and reportedly have done so in Courtney Lee as part of a three-team trade.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Memphis Grizzlies have traded Courtney Lee to the Hornets with just less than two days remaining until Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline:
In return, also per Wojnarowksi, the Hornets are sending out P.J. Hairston, Brian Roberts, and two second-round draft picks in exchange for Lee. It was initially reported that the whole package was going to Memphis:
However, it then came to light that it was, in fact, a three-team deal also involving theMiami Heat. The Heat will receive Brian Roberts as part of the deal and will send veteran center (and expiring contract) Chris Andersen and two more second-round picks to Memphis in return, though Wojnarowski notes that one of them is "heavily protected:"
That's certainly a bit of a hefty price to pay for Lee if you're the Hornets, but it also fills an immediate need in a number of areas. Without MKG, Charlotte has been forced to rely on the likes of Hairston and Jeremy Lamb on the wing alongside Nicolas Batum. Lee offers them a far better defensive option in addition to still maintaining solid outside shooting.
For the Grizzlies, they get younger on the wings, potentially add more depth to a thing frontcourt after the Marc Gasol injury, and get a bevy of second-round picks moving forward, both of which have been long-needed for this team.
As far as the Heat go, they clear some space on the books as they try to get under the luxury tax by moving Andersen and add another potentially useful guard to their backcourt in Roberts.
The Hornets are the clear winners in this deal as they come out addressing a need with a quality veteran in Courtney Lee, but the Grizzlies make out nicely as well. Though it's not sexy, the Heat are working toward getting under the tax and this deal puts them in better position to do so.