Courtney Lee (born October 3, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 22nd overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft. He played college basketball at Western Kentucky University.

High school career

Lee attended Pike High School in Indianapolis, Indiana and played on their Indiana 4A state championship winning team in 2003. He starred for the Indy Hornet's AAU team, winning several state championships and annually placing high at the AAU nationals.

Considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Lee was listed as the No. 34 shooting guard in the nation in 2004. [2]

College career

In 2004, Lee was recruited by former Western Kentucky assistant coach William Small to play for the Hilltoppers. In his first season, Lee set a WKU record for freshman scoring with 461 points in 31 games. Lee was named First Team All-Sun Belt Conference for three consecutive seasons (2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08). As a senior at WKU, Lee was named Sun Belt Player of the Year. He also helped lead the Hilltoppers to a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament while being ranked 28th nationally in scoring with 20.4 points per game.

On January 27, 2008, Lee recorded a career high 33 points in a 77–68 win over Arkansas State.

Lee finished his collegiate career tied with Jim McDaniels for all-time leading scorer at WKU, with 2,238 points. During his four-year career at WKU, he started 128 games, played an overall 3,957 minutes, made 82% of free throws, made 245 three-point shots, had 242 steals, 281 assists and 78 blocked shots. On January 10, 2015, it was announced that Lee's jersey would be retired by the Hilltoppers. [3]

Lee's tattoo on his arm reads "R.I.P. Danny Rumph" dedicated to his WKU teammate who died in May 2005 from an enlarged heart after hitting a game winning shot in a pick-up game in his hometown, Philadelphia. [4]

Professional career

Orlando Magic (2008–2009)

Lee was drafted 22nd overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2008 NBA draft. [5]

On February 4, 2009, Lee posted season-high numbers against the Los Angeles Clippers. He finished the night with 21 points, including 9-of-10 field goals while making three 3-pointers. [6]

Then on March 23, 2009 in a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Lee set a then-career high with 22 points. He made two critical free throws late in the fourth quarter to secure a comeback win for the Magic. Lee finished 6–8 from the field, 2–3 from behind the three-point line, and 8–8 from the free throw line. [7]

During the Magic's first round NBA playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Lee scored 18 points in game 1 and a team-high 24 points in game 2, helping the team tie the series at 1–1.

On April 28, 2009 Lee was hit in the face by Dwight Howard during Game 5 of the Magic's first round playoff series, suffering a fractured sinus. The following day it was announced that he would miss Game 6 of the series due to the injury. He then returned for the second round matchup against the Boston Celtics but he was forced to wear a protective mask over his face for the remainder of the postseason.

In game 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals, Lee missed a potential game-winning layup with 0.6 seconds remaining on the shot-clock at the end of regulation that would have evened the series at 1.

New Jersey Nets (2009–2010)

After spending his rookie year with the Orlando Magic, Lee was traded on June 25, 2009, along with Rafer Alston and Tony Battie, to the New Jersey Nets for future teammate Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson. [8]

During the 2009–10 season, Lee led the Nets in steals (93), three-point shots made (76), and free throw percentage (86.9%).

On March 8, 2010, he recorded a career high 30 points in a 107–101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Houston Rockets (2010–2012)

On August 11, 2010, Lee was traded to the Houston Rockets in a four-team, five-player trade in which the Rockets sent Trevor Ariza to the New Orleans Hornets. [9] He was officially introduced by the Rockets on August 18, 2010.

Boston Celtics (2012–2014)

On July 20, 2012, Lee was traded to the Boston Celtics in a three team sign and trade deal involving the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers. [3] Lee agreed to a 4-year, $21.5 million deal with Boston. Lee had a fine start to the 2013–14 season hitting around 50 percent of his 3-point attempts under new coach Brad Stevens. [2]

Memphis Grizzlies (2014–2016)

On January 7, 2014, a three-team trade was completed between the Celtics, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Boston traded Lee and a 2016 second round draft pick to Memphis for in exchange for the Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless and the Thunder's Ryan Gomes. [2]

Charlotte Hornets (2016)

On February 16, 2016, the Grizzlies traded Lee to the Charlotte Hornets in a three-team trade also involving the Miami Heat. [2] Five days later, he made his debut and first start with the Hornets in a 104–96 win over the Brooklyn Nets, recording five points, one rebound and one assist in 21 minutes. [2]

New York Knicks (2016–present)

On July 8, 2016, Lee signed with the New York Knicks. [2]

NBA career statistics

Legend
GP Games played GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Orlando 77 42 25.2 .450 .404 .830 2.3 1.2 1.0 .2 8.4
2009–10 New Jersey 71 66 33.5 .436 .338 .869 3.5 1.7 1.3 .3 12.5
2010–11 Houston 81 1 21.3 .439 .408 .792 2.6 1.2 .7 .2 8.3
2011–12 Houston 58 26 30.3 .433 .401 .826 2.7 1.5 1.2 .4 11.4
2012–13 Boston 78 39 24.9 .464 .372 .861 2.4 1.8 1.1 .3 7.8
2013–14 Boston 30 0 16.8 .492 .442 .818 1.6 1.1 .7 .3 7.4
2013–14 Memphis 49 47 30.0 .476 .345 .900 2.8 1.7 .9 .4 11.0
2014–15 Memphis 77 74 30.6 .448 .402 .860 2.3 2.0 1.0 .2 10.1
2015–16 Memphis 51 37 29.2 .458 .370 .826 2.3 1.5 1.0 .3 10.0
2015–16 Charlotte 28 28 30.2 .445 .392 .885 3.1 2.1 1.2 .4 8.9
2016–17 New York 77 74 31.9 .455 .401 .867 3.4 2.3 1.1 .3 10.8
Career 677 434 27.9 .451 .386 .848 2.7 1.7 1.0 .3 9.8

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2009 Orlando 21 16 26.2 .435 .273 .885 1.9 1.3 .9 .1 8.0
2013 Boston 4 0 9.8 .200 .000 1.000 .5 .3 .5 .0 1.5
2014 Memphis 7 7 32.0 .417 .316 .778 2.0 1.6 .7 .3 10.0
2015 Memphis 11 11 33.4 .550 .467 .957 2.5 2.2 1.1 .0 13.3
2016 Charlotte 7 7 36.7 .412 .444 .933 2.9 1.3 .9 .4 8.6
Career 50 41 28.7 .457 .346 .895 2.1 1.4 .9 .2 9.0