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Ziller: Is Courtney Lee Really a Journeyman?

The New Jersey Nets dealt former Orlando Magic draft pick Courtney Lee to the Houston Rockets yesterday, meaning Lee will start his third pro season with his third different team. At nearly 25--he'll turn that age in training camp--he's approaching journeyman status. Tom Ziller explains how Lee can be "the one to redefine the term":

To be a journeyman implies that there's no place for a player anywhere, that he's a mercenary for hire (Kevin Willis) or, less generously, a vital cog in only the Trade Machine dynamics of the modern NBA (Devean George). Lee fits neither definition; he's a good, young player any team would love to have, but who keeps getting dealt in bigger-picture trades as an asset (not as salary cap fluff).

After his rookie season in which he started for them in the NBA Finals, the Magic made Lee the central part of their package to the New Jersey Nets to acquire Ryan Anderson and Vince Carter. He averaged 12.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in his lone season in the swamp, sacrificing efficiency (52.5% True Shooting, down from 55.6% in Orlando) for a slight increase in possession usage (17.7%, up from 15.5% as a rookie).