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What Courtney Lee Does Well


I would be surprised if the Wizards actually figure out a way to sign Courtney Lee. There are plenty of other playoff teams interested in his services, and there's a decent chance one team goes above the mid-level, which is all the Wizards can offer, to sign him. The presence of Bradley Beal could well scare Lee off, because I think Lee would rather go somewhere that he could start at shooting guard.

But I'm happy that the Wizards are at least interested in Lee because it shows me they're looking for the right characteristics.

Lee practically defines "role player." To many, that's a huge negative, but it really doesn't have to be. The best kind of role players are the ones that magnify their strengths, minimize their weaknesses and don't put their teams in tough positions. Lee's ultimately an ordinary player that has figured out a couple things he does well, stays within himself and doesn't hurt the team too badly anywhere else. As it turns out, those strengths he has fit in perfectly with what the Wizards need.

Lee's a terrific three-point shooter, hitting over 40 percent from downtown in each of the last two years. But it's where he's hitting threes that makes him valuable, as well as how often he's taking them. Consider this comparison between him and a player we all know very well.

(Via's advanced stats page).



Both players have similar percentages from each spot on the floor, but one has a very even split between corner threes and above the break threes, while the other doesn't. They both shoot plenty of corner threes, but one player knows not to take too many above-the-break threes, while the other hasn't quite realized that he's not very good at those shots.

Now, consider their Synergy offensive breakdowns.



Both players shoot about the same percentage on spot-up threes and transition threes. The difference? For one player, spot-ups and transition opportunities account for 54.2 percent of their total offense. For the other? 36.3 percent. Once again, the top player knows his strengths, while the bottom player is trying to prove he's good at things he doesn't actually do well.

The top player in both instances? Courtney Lee.

The bottom player? Nick Young.

Does a player who possesses all the good qualities of Nick Young and none of the bad ones appeal to you? I think it should.