April 8, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard Courtney Lee (5) points to a teammate after the Sacramento Kings were charged with kicking the ball in the first quarter at the Power Balance Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
Depending on what the Washington Wizards do with Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis, they could have around $12 million of salary-cap space to spend this summer. It remains to be seen if the Wizards actually use it or bank it towards the 2013 class, but in any event, there are a number of free agents that could help the team's push into playoff contention. We'll take a look at several of those options in this running series. Next up: Courtney Lee
Type: Restricted free agent.
This past year: Took advantage of his opportunity to start once Kevin Martin got injured and played very well down the stretch after not doing a ton as a reserve. As a starter, he averaged 14 points a game in 36 minutes while shooting 40 percent from three-point range and providing solid defense. The Rockets really started to take off with him and Goran Dragic playing together, at least until their late-season collapse.
Why he's fit in well: He's not flashy, but generally won't hurt you in any way. He knows his role, hits open threes, plays good defense, makes solid cuts and has good court sense. If the goal is to find a player that can succeed without the ball in his hands all the time, he's a good fit. It'll provide John Wall with someone to space the floor that will also stay in his lane.
Why he might not: Lee's not really a dynamic playmaker for his position, especially when running pick and roll. While his primary value would be as a floor-spacer, it would be nice to have another playmaker in the backcourt when Wall is bottled up. Lee's defense is also better classified as "decent" rather than "great."
Likely price tag: His strong finish to the season probably pushes him towards the mid-level exception status, but that seems like his upper limit. More likely, he's probably in the $4-5 million/season range.
Verdict: There's no budding stardom in Lee's game, but he fits the Wizards' needs at the position like a glove and probably wouldn't cost too much to sign. He's someone that should be high on the team's wish list this summer if the team does not select Bradley Beal in the 2012 NBA Draft.