At the time of writing, Trevor Ariza is averaging 11ppg on 39% shooting (30% from 3) and 5.4 rebounds in his 34.5mpg. He has a TS% of .487 and an ORtg of 97.
Courtney Lee is averaging 8.1ppg on 46% shooting (44% from 3) to go along with 2.4 rebounds in his 19mpg. He has a TS% of .550 and an ORtg of 110.
Courtney Lee is being paid $1.4million this season by Les Alexander. Ariza is on the books for $6.3million.
I hope it’s finally been established that this was another stroke of brilliance by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. While I felt Lee was the better player and was thrilled by the trade, even I did not expect Ariza to match his previous levels of futility this season.
With Budinger having already regained his stroke prior to the Battier trade, and the Dragic-Brooks debate being perhaps debatable, it’s the radical increase in Lee’s minutes that stands as the team’s greatest variable since deadline day. Courtney Lee is getting starter’s minutes and is producing, exuding more confidence within the offense, and showing off his versatility at the other end. Where Battier’s age and reliance upon weakside shotblocking became a detriment to this post-Yao Rockets team, Courtney Lee is that rare specimen who boasts both brains and physical tools. One truly wonders how a Bulls team desperate for help at the 2 let him slip through their grasp!
‘Huq’s Pen’ is a weekly column of musings written by Red94 founder/editor Rahat Huq.