Sources told ESPN.com that the Celtics, after pursuing him in previous seasons as well, are on the verge of acquiring Bayless for shooting guard Courtney Lee. A trade call with the league office, sources said, has been scheduled for Monday.
The Grizzlies, with nearly $7.5 million left of a trade exception they created in January 2013 by dealing Rudy Gay to Toronto, can use that exception to absorb Lee's contract, which runs for two more seasons at slightly more than $11 million after this season.
And Memphis is indeed said to be willing to take on the additional longterm salary left on Lee's contract in hopes that Lee could bring much-needed perimeter shooting to the Memphis offense. The Grizzlies are essentially relying on Mike Conley and Mike Miller for their 3-point threat in the wake of losing Quincy Pondexter for the season to a foot injury.
The Celtics have been trying to shed Lee's contract, despite the 28-year-old's 49.2 percent shooting from the floor this season and 44.2 percent shooting from 3-point range. So they've spent the weekend trying to complete this swap for Bayless, whose production is down under new Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger while making $3.1 million in the final year of his contract.
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