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Grizzlies trade Courtney Lee to Hornets in three-team deal

Courtesy of Nelson Chenault, USA Today Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies have traded starting guard Courtney Lee to the Charlotte Hornets in a three-team deal that involves the Miami Heat.

The specifics of the deal are rather interesting.

Lee heads to a Hornets team that’s in need of some more perimeter shooting as it looks to earn a playoff spot back East. The former first-round pick of the Orlando Magic is averaging 10.0 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 46 percent in 51 games (37 starts) this season.

Lee will likely take on a bench role for a Hornets squad that already boasts Jeremy Lin, Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum in the back court. Though, this addition could mean that Batum will see more action at small forward as the season progresses.

It’s a solid depth move for a squad that currently sits in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Heading to Memphis in the deal is a youngster in P.J. Hairston who had fallen out of favor in Charlotte this year. The 2015 first-round pick was averaging just 6.0 points in 19.5 minutes of action prior to the deal. The Grizzlies are banking on a change of scenery playing a role in Hairston’s development.

In order for the deal to be facilitated, the Miami Heat had to get involved.

They picked up guard Brian Roberts from Charlotte while sending veteran big man Chris Anderson as well as two second-round picks to Memphis in the deal.

More than anything else, this is an interesting move for a Grizzlies team that’s currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

With Marc Gasol out indefinitely after he suffered a fracture in his foot earlier this month, it’s possible that Memphis is looking to the future. Though, its 31-22 record would suggest otherwise.

In trading Lee, Memphis moved its top three-point shooter — a stunning decision considering that’s one of the major weaknesses on the team (34 percent this season).