POSTED: Feb 23, 2016 7:54 PM ET
Either way, he figures to be part of the rotation for the Mavericks after never getting off the bench in his final month with Boston before the Celtics finally waived him following the trade deadline last week.
"I hope to have courtside seats for a team when I come back when I'm done playing," Lee said Tuesday, a day before his expected Dallas debut at home against Oklahoma City.
"That was no fun to sit and watch this year. This will be great to be part of a team that I'll have a chance to contribute because to work as hard as I work and not have a chance to step on the floor and play some minutes was really frustrating."
Lee went to Boston in an offseason trade with Golden State, where he had gone from All-Star to seldom-used reserve by the time the Warriors won their first championship in 40 years last season.
In both cases, younger players took his spot - most notably rookie Draymond Green with the Warriors a year ago when Lee was out with a hamstring injury. The youth movement with the Celtics was so strong Lee last played for them on Jan. 10.
So that's why Lee hasn't really concerned himself with how often Dallas coach Rick Carlisle plans to use the 11th-year pro off the bench.
"I see it as a positive that I've been the No. 1 option on teams and I've been a guy that's given two- and three-minute shifts on a team," said Lee, who has been well off his career averages of 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds since last season. "So I've kind of seen everything there is to see."
Carlisle said Lee fits more naturally as the backup to Pachulia, but he is also working at Nowitzki's forward spot.
"We didn't get him to sit him," Carlisle said after Lee's first full workout with the team. "He's an excellent rebounder. He's athletic, big and skilled and experienced. I just feel he fits in with our style of play on offense and defensively."
Lee's days of averaging a double-double are likely over. He did that three times in five seasons covering both of his All-Star appearances - with New York in 2010 and Golden State three years later.
But only one of those teams had a winning record. And while the Mavericks are far from title contenders behind Golden State and San Antonio in the Western Conference, Lee expects to help a playoff team still looking for its first postseason series win since taking the franchise's only championship in 2011.
"You can see the chemistry from playing against them and that's something I want to be a part of," Lee said of the Mavericks. "All those things fit well and I think we're in a great spot to make a run here."
Dallas made a similar move last season with Amare Stoudemire after he was waived by the Knicks and managed to get to 50 wins. But that was only good enough for seventh in the West - and a first-round loss to Houston in five games.
"Obviously you'd love to have a guy from training camp on," Nowitzki said. "Sometimes in the league, you've got to adjust. It's not like he's 21 years old and he's still a college player. He knows the pro game. So that makes it a lot easier."