Can David Lee Return to 2013 All-Star Form?

This summer the Boston Celtics acquired David Lee from the Golden State Warriors for the little-used Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb. Most viewed this as a salary cap dump for the Warriors so they don’t have to pay the luxury tax, while the Celtics got a decent potential starting power forward for essentially giving up nothing. Lee himself gets the opportunity to show off his skills with one year left on his contract. Overall this trade looks like a rare triple win-win-win for everybody involved in the process, but now let’s take a look at the impact David Lee could have on the Celtics.

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David Lee used to be an All-Star. How long ago was he an All-Star exactly? He’s only two years removed from his 2012-13 selection, when he averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds to make the Western Conference squad. Essentially, David Lee was Enes Kanter before Kanter was even on the radar. He has some fantastic offense and some not-so-great defense.

What are most people overlooking about his last year? He had nearly the same level of productivity while on the court as the last couple seasons. He simply got his minutes cut from about 36 in 2012-13, down to 33 minutes in 2013-14, and finally down to 18 minutes last year with the stacked Golden State Warriors. His per 36 minutes stats were still nearly identical to the last couple years. His per 36 averages are about 16 and 10, which would only increase in Boston with the scoring load he will have to take on.

In Boston he will get the playing time that he needs, about 25-32 minutes a game. I expect him to average about 17 and 10, which is not All-Star form, but is very solid. He will shoulder the second option scoring load for Boston in the starting lineup with Avery Bradley and will share the load with Isaiah Thomas when Thomas comes off the bench. Celtics fans should be grateful that they got a potential All-Star, who is trying to prove he deserves one more big contract before his time in the league is up.