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GM Rich Cho Transcript on Courtney Lee Trade

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Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced on Feb. 16, 2016 that the team has acquired guard Courtney Lee and cash considerations from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade. The following is the transcript from Cho’s conference call with the media after the trade.

Opening Statement

“Good evening.  We are really excited to add Courtney Lee to our roster.  He brings a lot of experience.  He’s a vet that is a true pro.  He brings shooting, he plays defense and he’s a guy that we are really excited about.  Also I want to thank Brian Roberts and PJ Hairston for all their hard work on and off the court.”

On Courtney Lee’s defense and his fit in Hornets system:

“Cliff [Hornets head coach Steve Clifford] has coached Courtney [Lee] before in Orlando, so he’s very familiar with him.  He’s one of the guy’s in the league that can be called a 3 and D guy.  He can shoot three-pointers and play good defense.  There’s not a ton of those guys around so we are really excited to have him.  He’s a guy that plays both ends of the floor which we are always looking for.”

On whether Courtney Lee will be in the starting lineup:

“That’s a question for Cliff [Head Coach Steve Clifford].  I do think he will get a lot of minutes and, like I said, I think he’ll help us on both ends of the floor.”

On whether the trade was predicated on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s season-ending surgery:

“That was definitely a factor, losing MKG [Michael Kidd-Gilchrist]. It’s a big loss for us, but when we scanned all the rosters throughout the league, we were looking for three and D [defense] guys and feel like Courtney will be a big help to us.”

On filling the new empty roster spot:

“I think we will look to fill that spot, possibly look for a third point guard. We’ll probably be looking in the D-League [to fill that spot].”

On if the team is done making trades:

“I wouldn’t say we’re necessarily done. Anything can happen up until the deadline, but we are happy with this move and we’re always keeping our eyes and ears open.” 

On Courtney Lee’s veteran presence:

“I think he’ll add a lot to our locker room. He’s involved, in the background work that we’ve done on him over the years, has been very positive.  I also know he’s also got a high basketball IQ. He’s a good person and, like I said, Cliff [Head Coach Steve Clifford] has had him in the past and he really liked him as well.”

On him being surprised a player of Courtney Lee’s experience and skill set being available at the trade deadline:

“Yea a little bit, I think when we looked at all the rosters and at guys that might be available, he was on the list as a maybe but you never know until something happens, we were excited that he was available and we’re happy to get the deal done.”

On the rumor of a Dwight Howard trade to the Hornets:

“My policy is not to comment on trade rumors so I would like to just leave it at that.”

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