April 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) celebrates hitting a three pointer against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at the Toyota Center. The Rockets won 99-96. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Recent moves by other NBA teams on Thursday have changed the Courtney Lee sweepstakes up a bit. While I would still be surprised if the Washington Wizards land him with their mid-level exception, at least one team that could have signed him can no longer do so.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Clippers chose to give Jamal Crawford a four-year, $25 million deal, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears. Unless there's some sort of cap exception I don't know about, they no longer have the mid-level exception to offer Lee. Also, they kept Chauncey Billups on a one-year deal, so I'm not sure where the roster space is. They've already cancelled a visit with Ray Allen, according to reports.
To me, the Clippers were the most attractive spot for Lee. With them out of the picture, you basically have the Pacers, Bulls, Mavericks and maybe the Rockets from the original list. The Bulls are not going to offer anything significant because of future luxury-tax concerns, and while the Rockets are still technically in the picture, this tweet from Lee makes it seem like a return isn't happening.
That leaves Indiana, Dallas, Washington and other mystery teams out there. There appears to be a hard push to get Lee to Indiana, one that's led by George Hill. They're still very much in the mix. As for Dallas, they need a shooting guard, but I find it hard to believe they'll tie up too much money in a guy like Lee.
Maybe the Wizards' mid-level offer, if it's actually what they're offering, could actually land Lee. Time will tell.