Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

FA Day 1 Events Bring Lee Closer To New York

Two recent events could mean the Knicks are a bit closer to resigning David Lee. According to Yahoo, the Pistons have signed both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Meanwhile ESPN reports that the Clippers have traded Zach Randolph to Memphis for Quentin Richardson. Both Detroit and Memphis were potential buyers for David Lee, with both the free agent space and a hole at power forward. So the only teams left that have the cap space that are likely to sign Lee are Oklahoma City, Toronto, and Portland. The Trailblazers are unlikely to offer Lee a contract, considering the depth they have at the forward and center positions.

However this doesn’t mean that Knick fans should run out and grab a David Lee jersey. New York could still deal Lee in a sign & trade to a team that lacks the cap space to sign him outright. And of course, even if the team does resign him, it doesn’t mean that Lee will spend the length of his contract in blue & orange.

166 comments on “FA Day 1 Events Bring Lee Closer To New York

  1. Frank O.

    Rumor going around that Toronto wants a sign and trade with the Knicks involving Lee. Hahn at Newsday says that conversation starts with Bosh.

  2. Frank O.

    Hahn:
    “Toronto-based report is saying the Raps want to make a play for Lee. But it would likely be a S&T situation and I say you make Colangelo start with Bosh. Sweeteners? Not Chandler, nor Hill. You need to combine enough $ to make up Bosh’s contract, so it would have to be a higher-$ guy.
    I haven’t had the chance to check in on the Toronto stuff yet this morning so I don’t want to get too deep into hypotheticals. “

  3. Jafa

    Frank,
    Now that is a deal that would be music to my ears as a Knicks fan. Why wait for 2010, when we can get Bosh now? I don’t know how the salaries match up, but I would give up Lee + another forward (we have too many already) + “any spare parts that cost to much to maintain” for Bosh.

    This way, we have a real down low threat when we get into a half court situation (the 7 seconds or less offense doesn’t work all the time), and we have a star on our roster which will help us in attracting top FAs in 2010 (instead of signing Jason Kidd to help us with that).

    I am just salivating at the thought of this. Oh the things Mike D could do with a player of Bosh’s caliber (we say what he did with Amare). Ok, let me catch my breath…

  4. Frank O.

    Some dude on Alan Hahn’s chat this morning wrote this:

    “hey alan i just read that richard jefferson was on the dan patrick show and basically let it slip that kidd was choosing new york. Dan basically asked him wehre is kidd going and he said that Jason is going to have fun in new york and he is excited about it, he later tried to cover it up.”

    Holy crap!

  5. Frank O.

    Now Hahn says about Toronto-NY
    “I’m told Colangelo would not involve Bosh in anything like this. So there goes that theory.”

  6. Jafa

    Oh man…there’s too much volatility on these off-season moves. Gotta watch my blood pressure. Wake me up when its all over and I can get excited (or disappointed) about what happened.

  7. Frank O.

    I would bet a lot of money, though, that Jefferson was talking out of his crack regarding kidd.

  8. Caleb

    I know I’m in the 2 percent minority, but I would not trade Lee for Bosh. Bosh is a better player, but it will take a max-out, $18 million a year to re-sign him. David Lee + $10 million FA (Tony Parker?) is more valuable than Bosh, IMO.

    Seems like an unlikely rumor, anyway.

  9. Z

    Alan Hahn should quit twitter before he loses all cred. As if the internet wasn’t bad enough, here comes Twitter to make news reporting even more gossip-heavy. Don’t misinterpret what he “thinks is the news” with what really is the news.

  10. Ray

    Why trade for Bosh when we could get him w/o giving up anything next year? Im hoping we go after Session. I know he’ll play hard for us.

  11. Frank O.

    I’m beginning to think that Eddy Curry’s biggest problem is he’s simply stupid.
    He’s now suing his manager for not managing his life better.
    Like, somehow Curry was unaware that he hadn’t paid his mortgage in seven months???

  12. Count Zero

    There’s too much going on right now for any rational speculation. Old Man Donnie is playing close to the vest and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the real moves come from out of nowhere.

    Hahn has been talking out of his ass for days now.

  13. BK

    I don’t view Kidd with the hate or angst that many Knick fans do, but I admit that I hate the idea of a third year. I can live with 2 years, though, and think he does bring something to the table.

    Grant Hill, I think, is giving D’Antoni the courtesy of a meeting because of their friendship. He’s pretty locked into Phoenix from a lifestyle perspective, and it would take a heck of an offer to get him to NY.

    I’m with Caleb that Lee for Bosh isn’t my cup of tea, unless there’s genuine heat behind all the talk that Bosh and Lebron want to play together. But I’ve never been a fan of planning every single move around what it does for a (still unlikely, if possible) Lebron signing, which puts me in an even smaller minority than Caleb’s.

  14. Thomas B.

    Why don’t we all just stop speculating. Lets go outside, enjoy the lovely July weather, and just wait until July 15th or so when all the dust has settled. We are just making ourselves crazy over nothing.

  15. ess-dog

    Oh really “Thomas”, that sounds exactly like something one of James Dolan’s hired goons would want us to do… Mike, Lifetime Ban!

  16. Ted Nelson

    Lee and a bad contract for Bosh??? Possibly the worst rumor I’ve ever heard.

    If the Jefferson thing is true, I guess it’s because of family. Kidd’s already made over $150 million in his NBA career, how important is a few more million? I believe he’s divorced, so if his wife is still in the NY area it would make a lot of sense to play up here and be with his kids.

    Grant Hill’s a pretty risk free pick up on a one year deal. As I recall he went to Phoenix for D’Antoni and a shot at a ring more than the Suns’ organization (which is a mess right now), so I can see why he’d want out. Can see why he’s look at NYK, but why not sign with SA or Cleveland or Boston or whoever for a shot at a ring?

  17. xduckshoex

    If it’s a sign and trade and it doesn’t involve Bosh it may be for Calderon. He’s the perfect point guard for D’Antoni…he makes good decisions, takes good shots and makes a great percentage of them. It doesn’t make sense because unless the Raptors are taking on Jeffries or Curry it messes up the 2010 plan.

  18. Ted Nelson

    I don’t think Toronto is in a rush to give up either of its two best players. If it came to that I think they would back off. Only way is if they decide there’s no way to keep Bosh and his value is the highest right now. Knicks might have to part with Lee, Chandler, AND Hill for them to consider it, though. So, my 2 cents is that it’s unlikely anything happens, unless the Raptors sign Lee to an offer sheet and the Knicks have to either match or pass.

  19. Brian Cronin

    And if that were the case, Toronto would basically be saying “Lee is going to replace Bosh next year,” because you can’t give Lee a big enough contract so that the Knicks won’t match and then also sign your other power forward to a huge deal.

    So I’m wary about these rumors – but if Toronto is resigned to losing Bosh after this season, it could make some sense – get a guy locked up that you know you’ll have for the next six years rather than rolling the dice with a guy you figure wants to leave next year.

  20. Frank O.

    A Bosh move would be getting to 2010 in 2009.
    He would be one of the legit big time FAs the Knicks would chase…and certainly they would go after him if they don’t have Lee.
    Bosh gets 22 per game, shoots at 48.7 percent gets better than 10 boards per game and blocks about a shot a game…and he plays well with others.
    But Toronto officials have apparently said he’s not going anywhere…

  21. Ricky_J

    In general, I think people are discounting the possibility of Curry getting traded mid season too much. For all his obvious faults, at least he’s been exceptionally consistent throughout his career, save last year. If he can reproduce even his worst statistical year with a PER around 15, he’ll be perfectly tradable. Especially if his per-game numbers go up, bolstered by D’antoni’s system and Darko’s presence reducing his foul troubles…

    I’m not saying it’s a sure thing or that it’d be a homerun for the other team but the point is most deals aren’t.

    Some random possibilities, thinking out loud:
    Miami dumps O’Neal if they’re desperate for offense and want to prove their commitment to winning to Wade.
    Washington, with their contend-now mentality, upgrades their crappy center platoon.
    Yao’s injury plays out in a worst case scenario.
    Cuban gives us Stackhouse’s expiring because spending $ like a drunk sailor is what he does in spite of basketball logic.
    Walsh swings a trade with the brain trust at Florida International?

  22. mhev35

    as far as 2010 goes we def need to move jeffries, but we may be able to sell lebron the fact that having eddys salary on the books isnt too bad. tell him that we can trade his expiring at the trade deadline to add a needed piece (selling him on waiting to see what the extra piece would need to be after watching the first half) like the cavs shouldve done with wallys deal. idk just a thought

  23. Ted Nelson

    Ricky,

    I think it’s definitely possible that Curry plays well and the Knicks move him. There are just a lot of variables, so as you say it’s not something you can count on.
    As far as I know Currry showing up to training camp actually in shape by NBA standards would be a first. If that happens, though, then yeah Curry may put up some gaudy numbers for D’Antoni. If D’Antoni take minutes from Lee, Hill, Milicic, Harrington, Chandler, Jeffries, etc. and give them to Curry.
    Then the Knicks actually have to find a team willing to give up an expiring for Curry… This might be especially hard next season since a lot of teams may still be struggling financially and will be getting ready for 2010. The teams actually willing to give up an expiring for long-term contracts might have their pick of a lot of guys: Deng, Hinrich, Tyson Chandler, Josh Smith, Josh Howard, etc. The Knicks could also trade Curry for a long-term contract of a better player or use him as an expiring contact in a 2010 sign-and-trade, though.

  24. Frank O.

    Right now Curry is probably holed up in a very dark hotel room, in a corner, trying to beat back the fear of his pending lawsuit and his foreclosure house with two boxes of RingDings and a quart of milk.
    Consider me stunned if he shows up in shape.

  25. Brian Cronin

    I love this ESPN bit:

    An executive with knowledge of David Lee’s trade talks with the Memphis Grizzlies tells 1050 ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand, Lee’s agent asked for $60 million over five years. Memphis was prepared to offer Lee $40 million over five years. But when they heard the initial asking price, they decided to trade instead for ex-Knick Zach Randolph. Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, could not immediately reached for comment.

    After the trade, the Grizzlies no longer have the ability to offer a first-year salary above the Mid-Level exception. The only teams now that can offer more than the Mid-Level exception are the Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

    The Toronto Star reports the Raptors are trying to obtain Lee. Sources couldn’t say whether it be a straight offer or a sign-and-trade scenario.

    The only teams that can offer more than the Mid-Level exception are Portland and Oklahoma City…oh, and Toronto, too!

    What a weird sentence.

  26. BigBlueAL

    If David Lee really think he is worth 5 yr at 60 million, have fun wherever the hell he can get the money because it sure as hell better not be in NY.

  27. Frank O.

    Hollinger says Tyson Chandler will be traded this summer because NO can’t afford luxury tax.
    I did not know they had a problem…

  28. Frank O.

    very funny.
    Hollinger’s take on the Knicks FA plan so far:
    Question – “Anything on the Knicks other than Kidd…anything at all??”
    Response – “Yes, they’re going after Kidd and Grant Hill, which would have been a great rebuilding strategy in 1997.”

    It’s funny because it’s true…

  29. Jafa

    Wow…Lee should fire his agent now! He may just have messed up his chances to start the bidding. Think about it – if Memphis was offering $40M, he could have made the Knicks bid against that offer and maybe gotten it up to maybe $50M.

    But to start at $60M? Ben Gordon just go $55M for the same length (5 years). Does his agent really think Lee is more valuable than Gordon, a guy who is a lights out shooter and can create his own shot, all without playing in a system like Mike D’s that pads your stats?

  30. Caleb

    What trade partner is realistic for moving Eddy Curry? Say, packaged with Mobley and his insurance payout? Here were my criteria:
    1) A team with no hope of signing a free-agent in 2010, either because they’re hopelessly over the cap, or are such a miserable destination that no one wants to play there.
    2) A team with money issues, for whom a few million dollars would make a big difference.
    3) A team with $16-25 million in expiring contracts, or big expiring contracts and a player the Knicks wouldn’t mind having beyond 2010.

    As you’d guess, it’s a short list. But here’s what I came up with:

    1) New Orleans. Curry and Mobley for Chandler, Antonio Daniels and Rasual Butler. Factoring in Mobley’s insurance payout, and the luxury tax the Hornets might face otherwise, owner George Shinn would save at least $12 million and maybe as much as $20 million. If they were willing to swap Chandler for a retiring Ben Wallace, this is much better. On the Knicks side, our cap situation would actually be $2 million worse in 2010, but we’d have Chandler instead of Curry. Lose Nate or Jeffries, and we can still max out a FA.

    2) Milwaukee. Trade Dan Gadzuric, Luke Ridnour, Amir Jonson and Kurt Thomas. The Bucks end up thin in the frontcourt (if any frontcourt with Curry can be called “thin”) but save about $8 million over the next two years. Gadzuric’s deal runs through 2011 but the Knicks would be $3.8 million dollars better off, in terms of cap space.

    3) Detroit. Rip Hamilton, Kwame Brown & Fabricio Oberto. Killer move for the Pistons, in that they @$6 million over 2 years, and $30 million over 4, by cutting Hamilton loose. It’s hard to swallow from the Knicks perspective, because it actually makes the cap situation worse. But you could solve that by finding a third team. Hamilton may be tradeable in a way that Curry’s not. Some playoff team might be willing to take on Hamilton, for an expiring deal.

  31. Frank

    Ya, not sure whether Lee has much leverage at all at this point. He may be better off signing the QO. I foresee 5y/$40M as the final deal, or at best for Lee something like 4y/34M.

    BTW I want no part of Jason Kidd. Not that I don’t think he’s good — it’s just that I can’t imagine that he will still be around or effective when the Knicks are really prepared to make a push, probably in the 2011-2012 season. I would like to see Nash on this team because he at least is an awesome shooter and never relied on any overwhelming physical gifts to dominate — probably will age better. I understand wanting to bring in guys that have a history of winning to further change the culture — but can’t we find someone younger?

  32. Caleb

    Bartlestein isn’t Lee’s problem – it’s just the system. He doesn’t want to play in Memphis, unless it’s a crazy offer. And Detroit went another direction. He could probably get $50 million next summer, if he signs the qualifying offer. But he’ll probably get $40 million-plus from the Knicks, right now. He’ll be happy once the disappointment wears off, and the Knicks will have a solid FA bargain.

    I think this is Walsh’s strength. He’s not the greatest judge of talent, unearthing hidden gems, but he’s a good businessman. Like when he lost Stojakovic to New Orleans, but got a big trade exception out of it. Or waited out the Clippers on the Randolph trade. He drives a hard bargain. He’s Bizarro-Isiah.

  33. Frank O.

    It’s depressing because the Knicks holding onto what they have could be a best case scenario right now.

  34. BigBlueAL

    David Lee’s agent is going to be on with Michael Kay on his radio show right now in case anyone is interested.

  35. mhev35

    at work and cant listen but if u can keep us updated on anything important he says

  36. Z

    Caleb– you forgot the team that meets every single criteria on your list: The Clippers!

    Sure, they’re loaded at the 4 and 5 position right now, but they are the Clippers!

    If Curry steps foot on a court this season and shows he can dunk a ball when its handed to him 3 feet from the basket they can be talked into taking him. They’re the Clippers!

    When nothing else seems like it would work, remember– there’s always the Clippers!

  37. Z

    At the deadline the Clips will be over-achieving. They’ll be 2 games out of the 8th seed in the west. Kaman goes down for the year. MDsr needs a low post scorer or he’ll be fired when they tank down the stretch.

    Enter Eddy Curry, putting up career offensive #s in NY.

    Curry for an injured Camby and an injured Q.

    I’m calling it now.

  38. BigBlueAL

    Not much out of the interview, although the agent did say that a sign-and-trade would be very difficult to pull off. Also talked about his great relationship with Donnie Walsh and how Lee prefers to stay with the Knicks.

  39. Frank O.

    From RealGM on Lee:

    As a restricted free agent, David Lee’s future is uncertain and his career as a member of the New York Knicks is in jeopardy.

    Mark Bartelstein, Lee’s agent, seemed less than optimistic about a return to New York for his client during an interview with RealGM’s Alex Kennedy on Thursday.

    When asked about a return to the Knicks, the team that drafted Lee, Bartelstein hesitated before replying, “Let’s put it this way, anything is possible but we have interest from other teams as well.”

    On Wednesday afternoon, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that Lee had narrowed down his potential suitors to Oklahoma City or Memphis.

    The Grizzlies are out of the running for Lee following their trade for Zach Randolph.

    When asked about this, Bartelstein denied the report and said that Lee is still in talks with many teams. “We have about a dozen teams still showing interest in either signing David or performing a sign-and-trade to acquire him.”

    Last season, Lee averaged 16.0 points and 11.7 rebounds for New York while only making $1,788,033.

  40. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    $60M for 5 years? That’s the worst agent I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like those guys in your fantasy league that just offer the most lopsided trades to everyone. I find that if you’re in a half decent league those guys lose all credibility. My usual MO is to offer decent trades from the get go – usually coming with your best offer tends to work more often than not. Especially when the other offer is laughably bad.

  41. BigBlueAL

    Reading Hollinger’s chat transcript and when you read that someone like Odom will be hard pressed to get 10 mil per year and will most likely have to settle for around 8 mil per year how in the world is Lee worth more than Odom, age be damned????

    The more I see the market for alot of these guys, Lee shouldnt get much more than Villanueva. 8 mil per year for Lee is fine and the Knicks should re-sign him for that BUT anymore and its bye-bye Lee for me.

  42. daaarn

    I love Lee, but not at $60M/5yrs. Personally, anything at about the $8M/yr area is as high as I would be willing to get behind. All those years of league overspending is finally coming back to bite a bunch of players in the butt, but that’ll hopefully change things for the better. Only franchise-caliber players should be getting max money, while the others should definitely get more reasonable salaries.

  43. TDM

    From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

    “Reports that the Grizzlies offered David Lee a multi-year deal ranging from $50-$60 million is news to Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. Did the Griz contact Bartelstein this week? Yes. But Bartelstein said he never talked contract specifics with the Griz.

    “All of the reports about money and years are not true,” Bartelstein said. “We never got to that point. We talked only conceptually.””

    I don’t buy it. My guess is that Toronto made a lowball offer or said it was going to wait and see with Turk and Ariza before offering Lee any $. Why would Bartelstein only talk “conceptually” when every other agent in the league is out there talking hard numbers and getting their clients deals as fast as possible before the $ dries up? Crazy talk.

    My favorite Twitter for the day comes from AI:

    “I’m a Free Agent, healthy again, and capable of signing with any team”

    I guess his phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the hook.

  44. cgreene

    S&T Nate and Chandler for Rubio and a garbage contract now that Rubio is headed back to Spain for 2 years?

  45. cgreene

    My favorite Twitter for the day comes from AI:

    “I’m a Free Agent, healthy again, and capable of signing with any team”

    I guess his phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the hook.

    Thought that was Marbury… haha

  46. Frank

    “$60M for 5 years? That’s the worst agent I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like those guys in your fantasy league that just offer the most lopsided trades to everyone. I find that if you’re in a half decent league those guys lose all credibility. My usual MO is to offer decent trades from the get go – usually coming with your best offer tends to work more often than not. Especially when the other offer is laughably bad.”

    It’s the Scott Boras/Drew Rosenhaus school of negotiating — throw out a number so huge that it looks like you’re giving in when you come back down to the number that you actually want. Lee’s agent probably figured 10M/year was the top, and so starting the conversation at 12M/year allows you to give up more and still get what you want. And if the teams go for the huge number, all the better. Trouble is, Boras and Rosenhaus are in sports where the salary cap is much easier to deal with (or doesn’t exist) than in the NBA. And Bertelstein has no leverage considering there are very few buyers in this market. I feel good with my 5 years 40 million or 4 years 34 million guess, and I think he is coming back to us. Whether he gets signed/traded is another story. But I WOULD consider trading him to OKC for unprotected picks and expirings.

  47. mhev35

    “ESPN says Gortat is signing an offer sheet with Dallas”

    here come the curry for tmac rumors again

  48. ess-dog

    “here come the curry for tmac rumors again”

    Houston could still go after Tyson Chandler…

  49. mhev35

    Houston could still go after Tyson Chandler…

    they could and they should. i think going after eddy would be a terrible move on their part im just saying get ready to read newsday and the post filled with tmac rumors for the next few days

  50. cwod

    If it comes down to OKC or us, which does Lee choose? I imagine we won’t be very far apart, if at all, on money. It is Presti, after all.

  51. Frank

    there’s no way in this world that houston goes for eddy curry. their GM is Morey, who is the most stats-guided GM in the whole league. he apparently has a huge staff compiling all kinds of stats that are not available to the average fan. if we can figure out that eddy curry is one of the worst players in the league from a statistical viewpoint, I’m sure he knows that.

  52. Z

    How about this trade:

    Lee, Curry, Jeffries, and Harrington

    for

    McGrady and Yao

    We can re-hab Yao for a year and have him in 2010 with enough cap room to sign 2 complimentary FAs.

    Rockets can try to get back to the WC semi-finals with more size and scoring (which they desperately needed against the Lakers)…

  53. Ted Nelson

    “Yeah, looks like Lee’s agent screwed the pooch on that one.”

    So did Memphis, though… Had they shown a little patience Lee’s asking price comes down. Why rush to do the Q-for-Zach deal now??? Unless LAC had another offer on the table (from who???).
    At this point he might think about taking 1 yr at 6-8 million, which is a much better deal than signing the QO. Looks like it’s between that and 5 years 40 million.

    “Does his agent really think Lee is more valuable than Gordon, a guy who is a lights out shooter and can create his own shot, all without playing in a system like Mike D’s that pads your stats?”

    Just off the top of my head, I think he probably is as valuable/ more valuable than Gordon. Gordon is a one dimensional, 6’2″ SG. Lee is 6’9″, one of the best rebounders and most efficient scorers in the game (that was true on the Isiah’s Circus Knicks as well as the Walshtoni Knicks). Maybe he’s not more valuable than Gordon, but I don’t think they’re far apart. Again, rate stats are not padded by playing on a fast paced team, because they are calculated to account for pace.
    I’m not sure exactly what Dumars was thinking giving Ben Gordon $11 mill per, unless he’s moving Rip. If he doesn’t move Rip they’ll have a strong backcourt, but when Stuckey’s contract is up in 2011/12 they’re going to be paying $35-40 mill for an above average (not spectacular) backcourt…

  54. Frank O.

    Z:

    there is a chance Yao may never come back.
    Does his salary just come off the cap if he is forced to medically retire???

  55. TDM

    $11M per for Gordon does seem a bit extreme, almost desperate. Has it gotten that bad for the Pistons? What is there starting line up going to look like? Gordon, Rip, Prince, Maxiell / Villanueva, Kwame? It seems like they are deep in the back court but “wafer thin” in the front court.

    They really needed to make a play for Gortat, but it sounds like he’s heading to Dallas.

  56. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.,

    I can see it if Gordon’s a replacement for Rip, because Gordon is basically a more efficient Hamilton and 5 years younger and now paid basically the same.
    Stuckey and Gordon would seem somewhat interchangeable as far as who guards 1s and 2s.
    I’ve heard no rumors about Rip being shopped, not that that means anything.

  57. TDM

    It would seem that Rip would be traded due to the Gordon signing. But who is going to take him for another 4 years at $11M per. Plus, I thought a large part of the reason that Curry got the axe was the way he handled moving Rip to the bench.

    Would the Cavs have an interest in trading for Rip? Giving up West, Gibson, or Williams (all 3 younger than Rip) or some other combination of players? Mo Williams / Gibson for Rip / Afflalo works.

  58. BigBlueAL

    Ted Nelson, the reason Memphis traded for Zach and not wait for Lee’s price to come down is probably because they flat out think Zach is a better player, actually probably a much better player since they are willing to take on his contract.

    Im telling you from all the stuff Ive read about David Lee league-wide he is not considered to be that great a player at all, only a good role player.

  59. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “they flat out think Zach is a better player, actually probably a much better player since they are willing to take on his contract.”

    Could also be a bird in the hand. If they thought Lee would come to them at a reasonable price, maybe they would have waited. But if you’re dealing with an agent like that, then maybe you don’t think you have a chance to pay him fair market value. But for Q-Rich, they’re giving up nothing (except for financial freedom).

    Also they only have Zach for another 2 years, Lee is a much longer contract for 5 years.

    BTW if there is any notion that Zach Randolph is a talented player, check out this thread: http://sonicscentral.com/apbrmetrics/viewtopic.php?t=2247

  60. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    One other thing about his agent, maybe Lee didn’t want to leave New York, so he told his agent that he wants a serious raise to leave NYC. Although it still would have made sense for them to ask for something more reasonable and ask the Knicks to match.

  61. jagermeister

    The free-agency dominoes seem to be toppling pleasantly in our favor thus far. It seems less likely that Lee will get an offer that we wouldn’t match. Artest / Ariza signings mean that Cavs need to look elsewhere at lesser options for a small forward, which makes you wonder what Lebron’s feeling about his chances to improve the team next year. Thing could definitely be worse.

  62. BigBlueAL

    Hey I didnt say Zach is better or even a good player, Im just saying I bet the majority of teams in the NBA would rather have Zach than Lee. I mean for as big a ball-hog as he is doesnt Zach always post great PER’s?? Even better than Lee??

  63. Owen

    He posts great PERs because PER doesn’t value scoring efficiency as much as scoring volume. He has a career ts% of 52%, below league average for his career. Lee is at 61%. But he has averaged 20 points per 36 to Lee’s 14.

    I am shocked that Joe Dumars gave Gordon that much money when he could have had Lee for less. Just insane. But if we end up keeping Lee at a reasonable price I will be overjoyed.

  64. BigBlueAL

    There you go. Since they both are horrible defenders and average about the same amount of blocks per game as I do teams around the NBA probably mostly would prefer Zach over Lee, off the court incidents not withstanding.

  65. Ted Nelson

    “Ted Nelson, the reason Memphis traded for Zach and not wait for Lee’s price to come down is probably because they flat out think Zach is a better player, actually probably a much better player since they are willing to take on his contract.”

    No one said that Chris Wallace was a good GM. In fact, when he was hired in Memphis the news reports were all basically the same: Wallace isn’t a very good GM, but he’s a good people person/has a lot of NBA connections. Anyone who would rather have Randolph for 2 years than Lee for 4 years (or however many years) doesn’t know basketball. Letting Milicic expire would have been a much better idea than getting Randolph to basically compete for bad shots with Mayo and Gay…
    What makes this whole thing all the more weird is that Memphis is in the Western Conference, where you need to be legitimately good to make the playoffs. Memphis is wasting their $$$ to go from 24 wins to somewhere between 24 and 30 wins…

    “There you go. Since they both are horrible defenders and average about the same amount of blocks per game as I do teams around the NBA probably mostly would prefer Zach over Lee,”

    ??????????? Hmmmm??? They average the same number of blocks per game so they are the same?????????

  66. BigBlueAL

    I meant they are the same defensively, which is pretty bad, so that just leaves their offense and as big a ball hog as Zach is his offense is viewed as much better than Lee’s so thats why I meant as to why most teams in the NBA would take Randolph over Lee. Remember as good as a rebounder as Lee is Zach is also a very good rebounder so you cant say Lee is a much better rebounder than Zach. Really the only thing you can say is that Lee is much, much, much, much more efficient than Zach and to me that is obviously the biggest point but not necessarily to most NBA teams.

    Hey TRUST me I would much rather have David Lee any day of the week over Zach please dont misinterpret me. My point was for alot of the people here who have posted the past couple of days like yourself about why Memphis made the trade for Zach and why is there what seems to be such little demand for Lee. Like Ive mentioned Ive read alot of stuff the past few days from reporters and stuff outside of NY and from what I can tell David Lee is not that highly regarded outside of NY.

    I mean Detroit swooped up Villanueva quick as hell, OKC apparently wants Millsap before Lee and Memphis would rather have Zach Randolph. Portland and Toronto (maybe OKC too) might get into the Lee sweepstakes only if they dont get their main targets. Ric Bucher had Lee as the 16th best FA this off-season and Chad Ford 3rd best so even ESPN.com has mixed feelings in regards to Lee (which there also is amongst NY reporters and on this site amongst us Knick fans). I guarantee you whenever a decision about Lee is announced it probably wont even be made into that big a deal on ESPN where as I wouldnt be surprised if Nate leaves that would make some news nationally if he is changing teams. Again my point was about how Lee is viewed and regarded around the country in my opinion.

    Ive been saying all along I hope Lee stays and gets around 8 mill per year because he deserves it. Nate on the other hand I could care less about……

  67. Ted Nelson

    Lee is a much better scorer than Randolph. For every offensive possession Zach has used to score in his career he’s yielded 1.04 points, while Lee’s yielded 1.22 points. Memphis obviously views Randolph as better than Lee (or they wouldn’t have pulled the trigger), but it’s pretty obvious to everyone outside their organization that they’re wrong.

    Again, with Villanueva and Millsap you seem to be completely missing the train. There was no team to match Detroit’s offer for Charlie V. We have yet to see about Millsap, but presumably OKC decided that Utah was less likely to match than NY.
    You’re completely ignoring the structure of NBA free agency and just commenting on who’s reported to be signing where. Who cares what the media says?

  68. BigBlueAL

    You honestly think Lee is a better scorer than Zach???? Sorry I definitely cant agree with you there. To me at least you are confusing efficiency over their actual ability to score but again thats in the eye of the beholder I guess. Ill say it again I would much rather have Lee than Randolph but if I need a basket at the end of a game I would rather go to Randolph than Lee every time, granted Zach would probably launch a 30 ft prayer in the process but hey. Although this past season Zach manhandled Lee down the stretch and in OT in their matchups one-on-one.

    Also you are way off in regards to OKC and Millsap in my opinion. Everybody in this planet knows the Knicks are looking for cap space for next off-season. If OKC really wanted Lee over Millsap they should know offering him 10 mil per year or more means he will be a lock to go there because no way Walsh matches that. Utah would be much more willing to match a contract like that, granted they are stuck with Boozer and Okur’s contracts for another season but I would assume they would still be more willing to match an overpriced contract offer for Milsapp than the Knicks would be willing to match for Lee.

    Hey maybe Im wrong but again I believe you value David Lee much more than most teams in the NBA do, heck maybe even more so than the Knicks even do. During this past season there have been a bunch of David Lee debates and Im sure you and me can start another one that could last til next off-season. Whatever the case may be in the end as a Knicks fan I really hope Lee stays….

  69. cwod

    I don’t know. BigBlueAl does have a point. I agree that Lee is a better player than Randolph *and* that Lee is a better piece in terms of salary implications. And yet, I imagine there are a lot of [mediocre] front offices that think, despite all his flaws, Zach is still a guy who can give you 20 and 10, and that must mean he’s a special talent. I think those people are wrong, but that’s probably the way it is when it comes to perception. There’s likely a large sentiment around the league that Lee is simply a hardworking role player whose stats went up because of D’Antoni’s system. Once again, they’re wrong, but that’s just the way people who don’t understand statistics view things. Maybe the Spurs and Rockets don’t approach things that way, but there are a lot of teams who seem to have no idea what they’re doing, and it’s those teams that might view Zach as the greater talent, albeit one with baggage.

    And then there was the whole post-“Dream Week” quote from Lee, when he said that it was the best losing week he’d ever had or whatever. A few people in the media, like JVG and Mark Jackson, seemed to blow that quote out of proportion, saying that a player should never be okay with losing. Intangibles people might say David Lee is not a winner or has the wrong mindset, which again puts him in the same boat as Zach. It sounds crazy, because David Lee is a crazy hard worker, but people actually think this way. Even Henry Abbott says that he prefers “winners” to “losers.” You know, those losers like Chris Webber and Gary Payton. This is the nature of sports discourse, especially among the traditional non-stats types. At least Milsap comes from a winning team, at least Zach scores 20 points a game, etc etc.

    But as long as teams like the Clippers and Grizzlies are run the way they are, it gives me hope. And as much as we might disagree with Walshtoni, they do have a track record of success, so we’ll see where we are in a year or two, after the roster is turned over, and we’re out of the lengthy salary cap hell.

    “We have yet to see about Millsap, but presumably OKC decided that Utah was less likely to match than NY.”

    Or they just prefer Milsap to Lee based on talent, because everything I’ve been reading in the past day suggests that Utah will indeed match any offer for Milsap as long as it isn’t absurd. So, assuming Presti doesn’t offer Milsap some ridiculous contract, which I don’t think he will, Milsap probably sticks around on the Jazz. The Jazz seem to be resigned to losing Boozer after this season and know they’re not a particularly big FA draw among the 2010 crowd.

    Also, I feel kind of bad for the Rockets. No Yao, McGrady, or Artest, but at least they snag Ariza? Hm.

  70. cwod

    As predicted, with Gortat’s agreement with Dallas, Hahn’s Twitter page entertains more Curry-to-Rockets scenarios.

  71. Ray

    Hey, if we resign Lee and he comes back with a better jumper like he promised then he will be well worth the money. Im hearing that anything Rubio is dead for us. Right now no chance.

  72. jon abbey

    “Also, I feel kind of bad for the Rockets. ”

    the people running them are about a thousand times smarter than the people running our crap organization, I wouldn’t feel too bad for them.

  73. cav0011

    I think that walshtoni lie through thier teeth about possible trades and there is no way to actually know whats going on until it happens. So I think anything is possible on july 8th. (thats signing day right?)

  74. Caleb

    Our own opinions aside, I think Al is right that most GMs consider Randolph better or at least equal to Lee. But that doesn’t mean they’d rather have him, not when he costs literally twice as much.

    The 3 GMs who have traded for Randolph are Isiah Thomas, Mike Dunleavy and Chris Wallace.

    Do you see a pattern?

  75. ess-dog

    The ability to create your own shot in the NBA is what gets you a big guaranteed contract. The top players that can do this (LBJ, Wade) are the superstars of the league. Lesser players that can create their own shot (Ben Gordon, Turkoglu) are still very valuable to teams for their ability to create a shot at the end of a game and get a win. Lee, despite all of his assets, is not a game winning shot maker. So Ben Gordon, who might even be used as a 6th man, is always going to get a bigger contract than Lee. That goes for Zach too since he can hit a 3 ball and post people up.
    I’ll be happy if we get Lee for 8 mil. He seems like he is capable of developing an outside shot and if he works on his help defense, he could be a great center in the D’Antoni system like Kurt Thomas was. I think he could play next to Hill (the Amare to Lee’s Thomas?) from what I’ve heard/seen of Hill. Lee is actually not bad at post D. He’s shown moments of greatness vs. Shaq and Howard. But his help D is substandard. From what I’m hearing, Hill is the opposite. He can come from the weakside and block shots. Could be a good combo. And if Hill can develop post moves then Lee can focus on garbage buckets and jumpers. And Gallo’s shooting and active D, and you’ve got a pretty good frontcourt.
    Now I’m not sure what a backcourt of Ill Will and J-Kidd will look like…

  76. David Crockett

    Milsap is an interesting player this offseason. Now that the Lakers have gotten even tougher that puts the Jazz in a tough spot. If OKC comes at Millsap with a decent offer they’ll have spent this offseason getting worse while their primary competitors (Lakers, Portland, San Antonio) have improved or are poised to improve. I could see OKC willing to overpay a bit because Milsap brings exactly what they need AND getting him weakens a conference rival.

    For Utah’s part, although I’m not turning flips over their 1st rounder Eric Maynor, drafting Goran Suton from Michigan State may cushion the blow from potentially losing Milsap.

  77. Ted Nelson

    I can’t really comment on what GMs around the league think, and as a few people have pointed out a wide variety exists among front office types as far as philosophy and quality.
    As Caleb points out, no GM with a good track record has made a move to acquire Zach. The two with a good track records he’s played for–Pritchard and Walsh–have given him away. Araujo was drafted #8 and Shelden Williams #5, doesn’t mean that other GMs around the league thought those were good picks.

    I do think that Lee is a better scorer than Randolph. What good does it do your team to have a guy who takes a lot of shots and doesn’t score a lot of points? 1.04 vs. 1.22… there’s just no competition. The only advantage is “creating a shot,” but as Al says are you really going to trust Randolph to “create” a shot in a big spot? (Especially when you’ve got Mayo and Gay to do so?) If the Grizz can push Randolph inside more often, then he might actually be a better scorer than Lee… but we can speculate all day about what might happen if Zach did this or that, all we can go on is the actual production they’ve put up.
    I don’t think Lee is the greatest player in the world or that great of a scorer, I just think he’s better than Randolph.

    “Everybody in this planet knows the Knicks are looking for cap space for next off-season.”

    Every indication so far has been that the Knicks aren’t letting Lee walk unless he gets blown away with a deal. While cap space is nice, max-value FAs rarely leave because of the NBA’s rules. Lee could be a nice sign-and-trade piece signed at a reasonable price, or just a solid long-term piece.
    I don’t know what the Jazz’ intentions are, but have been hearing the same as cwod.
    I know all about Presti’s SA pedigree, but his moves to date in OKC haven’t yielded much.

    I wouldn’t say there’s much difference between Millsap and Lee. I just don’t see much reason to take this opportunity to trash Lee.

  78. Z

    “Iverson interested in Grizzlies” -ESPN

    Well, you can’t say he’s dumb. He obviously has targeted the only team poorly run enough to want him.

    Imagine Iverson joining Randolph, Gay, and Mayo. This team would be the all-time leader in lowest TS% ever. The Knickerblogger Dream Team in how NOT to construct a franchise.

    It would put any Isiah Thomas team to shame.

    This off-season rocks.

  79. Z-man

    Re: Ariza to Rockets, I think this is an opportunity to address the magnitude of the “Kobe effect” on Ariza’s development. He clearly did very well as an opportunist in LA’s game plan. It will be interesting to see whether he can come close to his numbers last year now that he has to be more of a go-to player.

  80. cgreene

    Great article about how Ariza’s agent (ironically named David Lee) completely screwed the pooch on handling Ariza’s deal. (Apparently Ariza was to blame as well for feeling “disrespected”).

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-artestkobe070309&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    jon abbey says:
    July 3, 2009 at 9:04 am

    “Also, I feel kind of bad for the Rockets. ”

    the people running them are about a thousand times smarter than the people running our crap organization, I wouldn’t feel too bad for them.

    Really, Jon? Because Morey is a big stat head and his team played over its head for one playoff round you think that team is so well run? Ming and McGrady have been hurt every year and there have been no viable backup plans. Now they lost their 3rd best player too and got Ariza’s 8 pts 4 rebs in return. The Rockets are done. The Knicks have much better upside at this point and the best Houston ever did was get to the 2nd round when they had 2 stars.

    I agree that the FA period is falling heavily in Knicks favor right now as it relates to Lee and the Cavs. No demand for Lee. He will sign with Knicks for 5/$40M and it will be back weighted. Cavs have no great options (especially young ones) and teams around them are getting better.

  81. Z-man

    So now that Toronto isn’t getting Turkoglu, does that put Lee higher on their shopping list?

  82. Ted Nelson

    Ess-Dog,

    LeBron and Wade aren’t the best players in the league simply because they can “create shots.” It’s because they do everything well/amazingly, and because they create good shots that they hit efficiently. There’s a big difference between being an efficient high volume scorer and an inefficient one. The later are a dime a dozen, it’s just not that hard to create a bad shot and miss it. These player also tend to dominate the offense and hurt their team more than they help.

    I do agree that the ability to “create shots,” and score at a high volume leads to big money in the NBA. That doesn’t mean it should, though. A lot of the worst contracts in the NBA belong to inefficient, high-volume scorers.

    You could pretty easily argue that Hedo and Gordon are overvalued by a lot of people. I do think they’re both valuable, but they’re both going to be borderline overpaid.
    Gordon is a great specialist who will be valuable in the right role.
    Hedo is an average scorer, slow as molasses, and a good playmaker with good size at the 3. He’s a good player, but without Howard and Lewis he’s never in a position to hit any game winners deep in the playoffs… So if you’re Toronto looking to get a 3rd gun (behind/beside Bosh and Calderon) and don’t have much chance of attracting a better FA with your $, then sure go for it. More or less the same for Portland, but for a lot of other teams spending $11, 12 mill on Hedo would not be a good move.
    Hedo not being in the playoffs if you sub Howard and Lewis for, say, Curry and Randolph is one of the biggest reasons that “creating your own shot” is overvalued. It’s icing on the cake for the great players, but for someone like Jamal Crawford or Zach Randolph for whom it’s his only claim to fame (in fairness Zach’s a great rebounder and Jamal’s a decent playmaker at the 2) you need to have several players on your roster who are better than him to put him in a spot to hit game winners in the playoffs. As we saw over and over again in NY, clearing out so that Crawford can “create” a last second shot is a losing formula. For someone like LeBron or Jordan who can be the biggest reason that their team is in a position to win games and can score on any defender in a variety of ways, then by all means get them isolation looks at the buzzer.

    I do think Hill and Lee can play together, but before calling him the next Amare we have to wait and see if Hill can play at all.

    “Lee can focus on garbage buckets and jumpers”

    This is the mentality that I just can’t get my head around… Is cutting to the basket really a “garbage bucket?”
    Lee’s not a very good jump shooter, in fact pretty bad, so I don’t really see why he’d focus on taking jumpers. He does his damage close to the basket.

  83. Ted Nelson

    “Imagine Iverson joining Randolph, Gay, and Mayo.”

    LOL!!! It’s the kind of stuff that you just can’t even make up…

    “Re: Ariza to Rockets, I think this is an opportunity to address the magnitude of the “Kobe effect” on Ariza’s development. He clearly did very well as an opportunist in LA’s game plan. It will be interesting to see whether he can come close to his numbers last year now that he has to be more of a go-to player.”

    Ariza had an amazing playoff run, but he didn’t even have a great 2008/9 season. This has been said a lot, but his best season might have been 2006/7 in Orlando: he scored 14.3 pts/36 there on the 6th slowest team in the NBA, his usage rate was 19.2. His TS% was higher than this season, as was his reb-rate. He’s cut down his TOs since and upped his steals and assist-rate since then. He was also apparently banned from shooting 3s in 2006/7, we’ll have to see if the playoffs were a fluke (obviously to some extent a 47.6% 3p% is a fluke) or if he’s really developed an outside shot.

    cgreene,

    Morey had T-Mac and Yao on the books when he walked in the door. Both were already injury risks, so it’s hard to blame him for not trading them for a bad package. Especially when Yao gives Houston access to the Chinese market, and T-Mac’s jersey was the highest seller in China. Battier and Hayes were also already there.
    By any standard Morey has done a great job in Houston: his acquisitions have been Brooks, Landry, Scola, Lowry, Artest, Barry, Dorsey, now Ariza, Jermaine Taylor, Sergio Llull, and Chase Budinger.
    But by any standard Walsh has also had a great career, so I can’t agree with that part of Jon’s statements.

  84. Z-man

    Ariza was a great value in 2006/07 and last year. Now he is older, earning much more (i.e. taking up more cap room) and clearly more will be expected of him. He seemed pretty consistent with the 3 this year, but I’m convinced that Kobe’s presence provided lots of open looks and 1 on 1 vs. mismatches.

  85. Z-man

    Re: Zach, weren’t a lot of negative things also said about Lamar Odom before he got to the Lakers? If Zach were on a team like the Lakers or Cavs, maybe he become a lower volume and/or more efficient scorer. I think one of the biggest problems with Zach is that he’s been forced (or forcing himseld) to do too much on teams with terrible leadership (from players all the way up to ownership… Jailblazers, Isiah-Dolan Knicks and Clippers.) He’s clearly not a leader and not a guy you build a team around. He is definitely not worth the money he is being paid. And it seems that once again, he’s landed in a less-than-ideal situation for him.

    I think that Zach might have been a nice player for the Cavs to pick up but not at the $ he currently earns. At $8 mill per, though, I think most GMs would take him over Lee.

  86. jon abbey

    “But by any standard Walsh has also had a great career, so I can’t agree with that part of Jon’s statements.”

    really? I thought he was a mediocrity with Indiana, and as I said earlier, I’d give him about a C- in NY so far. his one highlight was moving Z-Bo and Crawford, which looks less impressive now when they’ve both been moved again this offseason.

  87. Thomas B.

    Curry and Hughes for T-mac? Houston might think having Curry is a push against a year without Yoa. But they do get a center, and shooter and big expiring contracts in 2010 and 2011.

  88. Ray

    Something tells me that Donnie is being a little too laid back about things. You mean to tell me that we couldnt swing a deal for Rubio? Theres no buzz on Nate’s contract or a possible sign and trade for him. Are we ever going to find a solid point guard??? I mean if he really doesnt want to make deals this offseason why doesnt he just say it. What exactly is he waiting for? What exactly is he looking for? All I see is teams around me improving while we are in the same place. Its kinda frustrating.

  89. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man

    Ariza was clearly more of a value at $3 mill, but I still think he’s a good value at $6 mill.

    I don’t know that it’s clear more will be expected of him. Houston is a defensive team (4th D and 14th O in league last season), and he’s probably one of the better wing defenders in the L the next 5 seasons. Offensively he’s replacing Artest, who scored an inefficient 17 pts/36. If Ariza’s legitimately improved his outside shot, that’s only 1 made 3 more than the 14 pts/36 he had in Orlando.
    No Yao will put more pressure on everyone to score points. Houston can still get a scorer in a T-Mac deal. If not, and assuming T-Mac doesn’t miraculously recover, I would expect everyone to pick up the slack. Adelman is all about ball-movement and Houston has a bunch of capable medium-volume scorers: Brooks, Scola, Landry, Von Wafer (free agent), Ariza, and maybe T-Mac. Battier is an efficient low-volume guy, and maybe Brent Barry gets a few more minutes. It will be very interesting to see what they do at the 5… If they don’t acquire one, I guess Scola, Dorsey, Hayes, and Landry all share minutes.

  90. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man,

    In the right situation maybe Zach would be better, but there are some real differences between he and Lamar Odom. Odom is a ridiculously versatile player, making him more valuable as a “role player” than a guy who just scores and boards, probably one of the best role players in the game. Scoring is not really a big strength for Odom, coming behind playmaking, rebounding, and defense. Zach had natural passing ability coming out of MSU but has yet to show it on the NBA level; Odom had assist rates above 20 his first three seasons in the league (and the TOs to match) while Randolph’s career high is 12.8. Odom’s athleticism and length put him in a much better position to develop defensively, IMO. He’s 6-11 and depending on match-ups can guard the 3 through 5. Finally, Odom was 24 his first season in Miami and turned it around at his second destination, Randolph will be 28 in a couple of weeks and is on his 4th stop.

    If Zach becomes your 3rd or 4th scoring option and gets most of his looks near the basket than his efficiency probably improves, and he’s still a great rebounder. Maybe he can even develop into a decent defender on 4s and 5s in the post, KG did say he’s one of the best when he wants it. I think you’re right that some of it has been circumstantial, but no one forces Zach to take such a steady diet of contested mid-range shots. Improving his game is really on him, it’s hard to say that he’s done anywhere close to the best that he could with the things that were in his control.

  91. Ted Nelson

    Jon,

    Donnie hasn’t been overly impressive to date with the Knicks, but I’d have to give him a definite incomplete. Most of his moves have been pretty good: D’Antoni, Duhon, Gallinari… Getting Harrington for Crawford was a lot better value than Acie Law and the shell of Speedy Claxton. Perhaps the best thing are the moves he hasn’t made: he could have jumped at the opportunity to deal Randolph to Memphis and take back Marko Jaric, but he was patient. He could have taken a similar approach to Isiah and tried to bring in a bunch of overpaid guys no one else wanted in an effort to win now.
    The only moves I can fault him for are Balkman, Roberson, and maybe not getting the #5 pick if it’s true that he could have (btw, don’t think that this came up in all the draft discussion, but the ultimate #5 for #8 trade was Pippen for Polynice).
    He’s going to have a lot more decisions to make–starting this offseason with Lee and Robinson–that will ultimately go a long way towards defining his tenure at MSG.

    My comment was more referring to his time in Indiana, though. He drafted Reggie Miller #11. Smits wasn’t great value at #2, but the next two guys taken were Charles Smith and Chris Morris… He drafted Antonio Davis #45. And then Dale Davis #13. He had some busts over the years, but in as large of a sample size I think anyone would. Those drafts built the core of a solid contender. Even more impressive was that he sold high and rebuilt on the fly without missing the playoffs: Dale Davis for Jermaine O’Neal, Jalen Rose for Artest, Brad Miller, and Ron Mercer. Got the #5 pick for Antonio Davis, but took the wrong guy. Then his last few seasons in Indiana weren’t so impressive, but I’m not sure how hands on he was.

  92. ess-dog

    Ted,

    I didn’t think I needed to mention that Lebron and Wade do everything on the court better than everyone else – including last second shots. Since they are only 2 players, the other teams have to “do the best they can” in terms of go-to players. Philly attached their cart to A.I. and it almost payed off. Same with N.J. and Vince Carter. I think everyone is hoping with just this or that adjustment, the guy they sign will bring them a championship. But it rarely happens. That’s why teams overpay for that type of player. I think we’re in agreement that it’s not always smart, and a little statistical analysis would help.
    Also, I was projecting Hill at his max potential… realy just saying that D’Antoni is trying to set up the same DYNAMIC as he did in Phoenix in 2006. I’m not declaring that Hill is the next Amare, though that would be nice.
    And I’m saying to make that dynamic work better, it would be nice if Lee developed a good mid-range jumper like Kurt Thomas had. And he does get garbage buckets, although you can throw in ‘pick and roll’ buckets too (which aren’t garbage, but can’t be considered creating your own shot.) I guess I’m saying that if Lee could develop that jumper, he and Hill would SEEM to make an interesting frontcourt.

  93. Ted Nelson

    Ray,

    A little patience, my friend. The fact that teams are making moves doesn’t mean that they’re improving.

    If Lee resigns for $8 mill and teams are more willing to pay AI than Nate, this should be a good-to-great offseason for the Knicks. Getting those guys on reasonable deals makes long-term sense as well as attractive pieces in trades, sign-and-trades. The success of the offseason will hinge largely on how Hill and Douglas turn out, of course. Grant Hill wouldn’t be too flashy, but he can still play and is a bargain at the vet’s minimum or maybe $2 mill of the MLE.

    “Are we ever going to find a solid point guard???”

    I would definitely call Duhon solid. He did make a play for Kidd, one of the best PGs ever to play the game. I haven’t been following the Rubio saga lately, but Minni’s in a tough spot, he could still be moved in the next couple of years but they’re probably best off waiting him out.

    Thomas B.,

    I think Morey would have to be very underwhelmed with all the other offers on the table to turn to Curry, but it’s possible. If they’re feeling desperate for scoring maybe a Curry + Nate sign-and-trade? Don’t know how well Nate fits in next to Brooks and Lowry, but Morey’s been willing to ignore size at PF and PG in the past…

  94. Z-man

    Ted,
    Re Zach: I don’t disagree with anything you point out. I merely was trying to say that some guys are more dependent on good situations than others and some guys take longer to mature than others. I would like to see Zach in a situation where he is a supporting player rather than a go-to player before I pass judgment on him.

    Re: Ariza: I completely disagree with you on the state of Houston’s offense withour Yao. There will be a lot of pressure on Ariza and others to score and none of the Rockets will command a double team. T-Mac is a huge question mark. Unless they make a deal, I think Ariza will either step it up or get exposed.

  95. Z-man

    “I haven’t been following the Rubio saga lately, but Minni’s in a tough spot, he could still be moved in the next couple of years but they’re probably best off waiting him out.”

    I don’t agree; Rubio will never, ever play for the T-Wolves. Why not make a deal and get a good player that can help them now? He could get hurt or get exposed as a flawed player. His greatest market value may be right now.

  96. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man,

    re: Zach

    Yeah, wasn’t trying to disagree with you. He COULD be valuable if he was in a good situation AND he changed his game. That’s a lot to ask, though. I don’t think you can blame everything on his situations when he hasn’t made the most of them.
    For every guy like Lamar Odom who goes to good situations (Miami and LAL) and turns his career/reputation around, there are the Smush Parkers… Smush also played on both Miami and LAL and never got it. Not that Parker is a great example because he’s not nearly as talented as Odom, but he had the skill to play in the NBA.

    re: Ariza/Houston

    Even with Yao they were an average NBA offense, so they’re probably going to be in the bottom 1/2 of the league without him. They’ve got a good coach and solid personnel, though, so I think they could remain a top 20 offense, or in the low 20s at least. Two big factors are what they do with T-Mac (play him, trade him, for who?) and what they do at the 5 (play 2 PFs or make an acquisition, who?).
    They’ve got a bunch of smart basketball players (Scola, Battier, Barry qualify for sure) and mostly team-first guys who should buy into Adelman’s motion offense (plus some instant, head-down, shot-up offense from Von Wafer). Scola and Carl Landry both scored 15 pts/36 at good/great TS%s last season (Landry 63.4 and Scola 57.2). Scola was the man on one of Europe’s best teams, so while his efficiency might suffer he can definitely pick up the scoring volume if asked to. Scola and Hayes both rebound as well as Yao, so you don’t miss him too much there. His size will be missed defensively, but all their bigs can D up.
    Brooks and Lowry can probably pick up the scoring volume a little, especially Lowry as he only scored 12.7 pts/36 in Houston and Brooks needs to improve his efficiency. Chuck Hayes had two seasons where he scored over 9 pts/36 with TS%s of 59%, low but way more than last season: 3.8… Battier had his career low in pts/36 last season, and his career TS% is 56% so he can probably pick up a few shots without sacrificing efficiency.
    T-Mac is a wild card, but might help them out or bring in a good player in a trade.
    Then there are Jermaine Taylor (who might be a better, more complete version of Wafer in the best case) and Budinger who can shoot the ball and finish.
    While I don’t think Ariza is necessarily going to be shoved into a much more prominent role and definitely don’t think Houston signed him to the MLE expecting him to become Kobe, I’m sure they’d love to see him improve as a scorer if he can do it without sacrificing efficiency.

    re: Rubio

    He may just decide to never come over. However, in a few seasons he’s going to be making his own decisions (instead of his parents doing so) and might grow tired of dominating the ACB league. If you’re someone who works hard enough to be an Olympian in basketball as a teenager you probably want to play against the best in the world. Doing that goes through Minni for Ricky Rubio.
    It really depends what they can get for him in a trade. If the best offer is Wilson Chandler I probably take my chances that he eventually comes over. If he still hasn’t come over in a few years, then you take whatever you can get maybe.

  97. Ted Nelson

    As far as Minni’s perspective on Rubio, take Manu (probably the best guard to come from pro ball in Europe). He was drafted in 99 and didn’t play until 02/03. In retrospect, with the 5th or 6th pick in that draft would you have taken Manu and waited 3 years or Bender/Wally S (the guys who went 5th and 6th)?

    ess-dog,

    AI is one example. The Sixers made their finals run out as a defensive team out of a really weak Eastern Conference, though. They had a lot of defensive talent (Dike, Theo Ratliff, AND Nazr Mohammed… Tyrone Hill, George Lynch, Raja Bell, McKie, Snow…) and some good passers (Kukoc, McKie, Snow). They lost 4-1 in the finals and faded pretty quickly after that, though, only making the 2nd round once more.

    I don’t think VC is much of an example, on the other hand. He was a medium efficiency scorer in NJ. He played with Kidd and Jefferson. They never made it out of the 2nd round.

    I see your point on Hill and Lee. If Hill can be a good NBA player and develop the way we hope, then I think he and Lee can play together and make a nice frontcourt for D’Antoni. I think Hill may be more likely to be the jump shooter of the two than Lee, though.

  98. jon abbey

    I think Rubio plays two years in Spain (if Minnesota doesn’t trade his rights before then), then he tells the T’Wolves “trade me now or I’m sitting out a year and going back in the draft”. I still think there’s a good chance he ends up in NY.

  99. BigBlueAL

    Interesting stuff from Chris Broussard on ESPN.com:

    Millsap, Lee and the Thunder

    When free agency began on Wednesday, many around the league expected Oklahoma City, which has roughly $14 million in cap space, to be one of the big spenders.

    But all has been quiet around the Thunder. There’s been speculation that they’re waiting until July 7 or 8 to make a lucrative offer to either Utah’s Paul Millsap or New York’s David Lee, both of whom are restricted free agents. But a few league executives have told me that’s probably not going to happen.

    Recent speculation that the Thunder would make Millsap a five-year, $65 million offer appears to be way off, as league executives say Oklahoma City considers Millsap to be worth about $7 million a year — or perhaps worth a multiyear contract that begins at $7 million. They attach the same value to Lee, according to sources.

    But the Thunder know that if they offer such a contract to either player, it will almost certainly be matched by the player’s current team. So why even make the offer.

    Oklahoma City realizes it will soon have to pay sizeable contracts to Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, so it’s unwilling to overpay Millsap or Lee to pry them away from their clubs.

    If that’s the case, Millsap and Lee will either return to their teams or be dealt via sign-and-trade, the first scenario being the most likely.

  100. jon abbey

    Portland might be interested in a sign and trade for Lee now that they’ve lost Turkoglu, any ideas there? Outlaw would be a nice piece, shame they already gave away Sergio Rodriguez.

  101. chris.afroman

    Portland already has a starting frontcourt of LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden/Joel Pryzbilla. They’re completely sold on LA’s potential, even though he’s not as good a rebounder as Lee. I don’t think they’d feel like another power forward is the missing piece for them. I expect them to be after a small forward or point guard.

  102. Ben R

    I want no part of Travis Outlaw. I live in Portland and all my friends who are Blazers fans want him gone as soon as possible. He does not give good effort on defense, has shot less than 50% TS% in three of the last four seasons, is an average at best rebounder and tends to stop ball movement and play one on one too much.

  103. Z

    “I want no part of Travis Outlaw. He does not give good effort on defense, has shot less than 50% TS% in three of the last four seasons, is an average at best rebounder and tends to stop ball movement and play one on one too much.”

    Sounds like a guy Isiah Thomas would cream over…

    I think Nate might be a better fit in Portland. He could play a role similar to Bobby Jackson on those old Webber-Bibby Kings teams. He’d be much less annoying in a proper role on a good team.

    Blazers added 3 more players in the draft. They are loaded for the future, but they also have most of the pieces in place to contend now. I don’t think David Lee is the piece they need though.

  104. Z

    Lee’s agent says he’s talked to 15 over-the-cap teams interested in a sign-and-trade for Lee. He says its difficult to put a package together because of his BYC status.

    I forgot about this little complication. I think for most of the proposed trades on this site involving Lee, he’s been calculated in the $9 mil range for salary matches. His trade value is only half that, though, so in a trade he’d only command back a player at 50% of his new contract’s salary (about $4.5 if he’s signed for $9 mil his first year) for the salaries to match.

    I’m not sure if the CBA could be anymore complicated. I just hope Donnie Walsh understands it a lot better than I do…

  105. Caleb

    I might be mistaken, but I think Lee’s agent is full of it. I don’t think BYC applies to a straight sign and trade, although he would be a base-year compensation player and difficult to trade during the coming year. Guess I’ll have to check it out…

    (BYC players are basically ones who get a huge raise – their salary is counted at a more modest level when it comes to making trades; makes it harder to game the system by signing someone to a contract just for the sake of trading them — like, so we can’t sign Chris Wilcox to a one-year, $20 million deal and trade him for Shaq (just to make something up)).

  106. cgreene

    How about Carlos Delfino since Toronto had to renounce his rights to get Hedo? PER has increased every year as well as TS% even though it is still a little low. Seems like a D’Antoni type guy as well and can run some point.

  107. ess-dog

    Interesting Z. Maybe this was the added cap space Walsh was mysteriously referring to when discussing the cap implications of Jason Kidd- trade Lee for a young guy at half the salary and bring in Kidd.

  108. Z

    Caleb–

    From the ever-necessary Salary Cap FAQ:

    “BYC says ‘if you re-sign a player and give him a big raise, then for a period of time his trade value will be lower than his actual salary.’

    A player remains a base year player for six months, or until June 30, whichever comes later. When trading a base year player, the salary used for comparison is the player’s previous salary, or 50% of the first-year salary in his new contract, whichever is greater.

    Here is an example of a BYC calculation: A player earned $2 million in 2004-05, after which he became a free agent. He then signs a new contract (re-signing with his previous team, which is over the salary cap) starting at $9 million. This player qualifies for BYC, so his trade value is the greater of his previous salary ($2 million) or 50% of his new salary ($4.5 million), or $4.5 million. So this player, who actually earns $9 million, is worth $4.5 million for trading purposes.”

    I can’t see how this wouldn’t apply to Lee.

    Ess-dog–

    BYC seems to benefit the Knicks in this case because Walsh would be able to assume less salary in a trade; however, it makes it more complicated because part of the benefit to a trade is that another team would get to jettison some over-paid unwanted player to clear space for Lee, which can’t be done as easily. It’s a good rule, but it makes agreeable trades a bit harder to conceive.

  109. Caleb

    Z,

    You’re right – BYC takes effect the minute of the signing; FAQ #76 (!) explicitly says it applies in sign and trades.

    It doesn’t really help the Knicks, because it shrinks the pool of players we can take back — basically, to rookie deals and mediocre players. I can think of a couple of worthwhile trades – Joakim Noah and Mareese Speights, for example – but I don’t think those trade talks exist outside my own mind.

  110. jon abbey

    “Portland already has a starting frontcourt of LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden/Joel Pryzbilla. They’re completely sold on LA’s potential, even though he’s not as good a rebounder as Lee. I don’t think they’d feel like another power forward is the missing piece for them. I expect them to be after a small forward or point guard.”

    thanks for the lecture on a team I followed quite closely last season. back in the real world, Portland going after Lee, like I said:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4306502

  111. Owen

    Interesting article Jon…

    Can anyone translate what this paragraph means, what is Walsh referring to, something to do with Mobley’s contract?

    “Players who produce like David Lee rarely come onto the market,” he said, adding that he had only talked “conceptually” about dollars with the Knicks, whose president, Donnie Walsh, tossed an interesting nugget out there Thursday when asked why the Knicks were suddenly willing to offer Jason Kidd a three-year guarantee when he had said just days earlier that he would not sign any player to a mid-level contract unless he could shed an equal amount of salary. “I have a little leeway that will leave me in good position for next year,” Walsh told the Associated Press. “I know what it is, but do not talk much about it.”

  112. BigBlueAL

    Am I the only one who has no clue as to why Portland would want David Lee, let alone for a 5 yr – 50 mil contract????

  113. Z

    I really can’t see Lee being the piece Portland is looking for. It’s possibly just the agent seeing a big $$ void left by Turkoglu and trying to fill it with his client.

    Owen– That is interesting, and no, I don’t think it involves Mobley who comes off the cap at the end of the year. It honestly sounds like he has some sort of leverage over Eddy Curry and is confident that he will opt out at the end of the year (blackmail? Suitcase full of cash? Knows his ticker won’t make it to 2010?…).

    Whatever it is, it’s no wonder he doesn’t want to “talk much about it”. He probably shouldn’t say ANYTHING about it!! :)

  114. Ted Nelson

    “Am I the only one who has no clue as to why Portland would want David Lee”

    Probably…

  115. Reebok1303

    Lee to Portland just doesn’t seem to fit roster wise. Fortunately, Walsh and Pritchard both seem to be reasonably intelligent GMs adept at reading and understanding the free agent market and thus shouldn’t fall prey to rumors like that ESPN article, which sounds entirely like an agent trying to help create a market and increase interest for his client during a time when Lee isn’t getting a ton of press outside of NY.

    I also agree that Walsh’s quote –
    “I have a little leeway that will leave me in good position for next year,” Walsh told the Associated Press. “I know what it is, but do not talk much about it.” –
    is by far the most interesting aspect of the article. Doesn’t it sound like he has a sign and trade in the works(!!!), probably with Robinson and either Jefferies or Curry? I mean, how else could he reduce salary? And if it was something as awesome as trading Jefferies or Curry to a team under the salary cap, wouldn’t the trade have been made already?

    And WHY hasn’t any of the 100’s of Knicks related posts in my Google reader discussed this quote and what it could mean in any sort of logical way?!?! I’m so sick of the endless guessing that gets passed off as reporting by the Knick beat reporters – why is it that the only trades or moves that ever come to fruition are the one’s never discussed in the media before hand???? I’m beginning to feel like I would be better informed and save a lot of time if I just waited for things to play out and didn’t have to listen to all their bs filler/made up stories.

  116. BigBlueAL

    Ted Nelson, you are really beginning to annoy the crap out of me with your sarcastic replies to all my comments. Dunno if you have noticed but almost everybody here has basically said the same thing as I have as to why in the world would Portland want to sign David Lee to what seems will be a 10 mil per year contract when they are pretty set at PF and C. It makes absolutely no sense for them to waste precious cap space on David Lee, especially when it was pretty obvious their intentions were to sign Hedo Turkoglu who is a SF which wouldve been a pretty good fit, even though its pretty obvious their biggest need is at PG.

    You are making it seem as if I was taking a shot at David Lee which I wasnt, but you cant tell me spending that kind of money on a player that will be a backup makes any sense for the Blazers. Hell if the Knicks werent trying to save cap space I would pay David Lee 10 mil per year w/o much of a complaint but thats not the case. If it were just hey lets sign David Lee for nothing of course Portland and every team in the NBA would do it but Im sorry I, and many others, do not get why Portland would sign David Lee for the reported amount of money being discussed….

  117. jon abbey

    looking at Portland’s personnel, I agree that it doesn’t seem as if Lee is a great fit, but I also know that my friend, who is a hardcore Blazers fan, thought they needed a tough rebounder this offseason. Pritchard seems like he is into assembling the best set of assets a bit more than the most balanced team, it’s amazing they haven’t done a 3 for 1 to upgrade at SF or PG yet.

  118. jon abbey

    Shawn Marion does seem like a much better fit for them, plus he’ll be cheaper and almost definitely unrestricted. maybe the Lee stuff is just a smokescreen?

  119. BigBlueAL

    Im sure Portland does need a tough rebounder since Aldridge isnt a great rebounder even though Oden when he plays is a pretty good rebounder. But again to spend that kind of money on David Lee to be a backup, unless for some reason they dont plan on keeping Aldridge when he becomes a restricted FA next season, doesnt make much sense to me.

    Anyway honestly all these rumors and speculation is starting to get old and tiresome. I think we all just want resolution regarding Lee and Nate and just look forward to the Summer League to check out the rookies and to see if Almond will pull an Anthony Roberson. This 1 week period before deals and signings become official is really a pain in the ass!!!!!

  120. Frank

    ““I have a little leeway that will leave me in good position for next year,” Walsh told the Associated Press. “I know what it is, but do not talk much about it.” -”

    My guess about this is that he already has a sign and trade in place for Nate+Jefferies. We nearly had a deal with Sacramento last year at the deadline — don’t see why it’s still not a good idea for both teams — Nate would have needed a new contract from Sacramento anyway, and Sacramento still needs players that will fill the seats. And we still need to get rid of Jefferies’s contract.

  121. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If Walsh is able to move that remaining $18M. 2010 is going to be a great year to be a Knicks fan.

  122. Ted Nelson

    BigBlueAl,

    You’ve taken every opportunity to bash David Lee the last few weeks. Seeing as Lee is/was the Knicks best player the last few years and most posters on this site have more appreciation for Lee than the average fan, when you take every opportunity to bash him that comes across as purposefully annoying to me.

  123. cav0011

    wait you mean jerome james wasn’t the best knick? I am pretty sure if you guys just gave jerome a chance to do his thing he would show he wasn’t in it for the contract ~_^

  124. BigBlueAL

    You quite frankly must have a hard time reading. I dont know how many times I have stated that I hope the Knicks re-sign David Lee. Of course saying that David Lee is the best player on the Knicks the past few years is probably why they have been absolutely horrible the past few years. Oops I took another shot at David Lee!!!!

    I like David Lee alot and think he is a very good player and for the 200th time I will say I really hope the Knicks keep him. BUT he is certainly not a franchise player. Is that bashing David Lee??? Obviously Donnie Walsh feels the same way about David Lee as I do since he is not willing to pay him as much as what his agent wants and is not willing apparently to keep Lee at all costs.

    You must not remember all the threads about David Lee throughout the season where alot of people took way more shots at David Lee than I apparently do. I have never said he sucks or anything close to that. The problem is for anyone to say that David Lee is not worth a certain amount of money or to say that he is not a great player people who defend Lee go nuts and say we are bashing him and not respecting him or something.

    For the last time believe it or not I really hope the Knicks keep David Lee. I dont want to sign-and-trade him because there is no way the Knicks could get anywhere near equal value for David Lee in my opinion. I dunno what else to say other than that….

  125. Ted Nelson

    Al,

    No one thinks Lee is a “franchise player,” and it would be hard not to notice the Knicks win totals the last few seasons…

    “Lets be serious its freaking Memphis. Actually it speaks to what teams think of him really if you look at it.”

    “Apparently Villanueva is getting 5 yr – 35 million. Sorry, no way Lee gets much more than that unless Memphis really desperately wants him.”

    “He better hurry up and accept whatever Donnie Walsh is willing to offer him because it looks like Lee has lost any leverage he had.”

    “If this off-season showed anything is outside of NY Im not too sure Lee is really looked at that highly.”

    “I say take whatever the Knicks are willing to give him, be happy and take D’Antoni out to dinner for padding his stats.”

    “A late bid for him from who?????????????”

    “dom will be hard pressed to get 10 mil per year and will most likely have to settle for around 8 mil per year how in the world is Lee worth more than Odom, age be damned????”

    “Ted Nelson, the reason Memphis traded for Zach and not wait for Lee’s price to come down is probably because they flat out think Zach is a better player, actually probably a much better player since they are willing to take on his contract.”

    “There you go. Since they both are horrible defenders and average about the same amount of blocks per game as I do teams around the NBA probably mostly would prefer Zach over Lee, off the court incidents not withstanding.”

    “Am I the only one who has no clue as to why Portland would want David Lee, let alone for a 5 yr – 50 mil contract????”

    “Ted Nelson, you are really beginning to annoy the crap out of me with your sarcastic replies to all my comments.”

    “You quite frankly must have a hard time reading.”

    I have no trouble reading at all…

  126. BigBlueAL

    WOW thats pathetic, you actually went back and read all my comments and took half of them out of context. Nice.

    David Lee should hire you as his P.R. man or something.

  127. Ted Nelson

    I don’t know if there’s any truth to the Portland rumor, or if some journalist or Lee’s agent just made the somewhat natural connection between one of the best FAs out there and the only team that hasn’t used its cap space or been linked to Lee yet.
    I agree that Odom could be a better fit for the Blazers, but he’s on record saying that he would take less money to stay with the Lakers… who have gone out and signed a former AAU teammate. Marion wasn’t that great last season, have to wonder what he has left.

    I may be in the minority here, but if I were Portland I would be looking to move Aldridge. He was a big part of the best offense in the NBA last season, but he’s probably looking for a max deal next offseason. With career averages of 52.7 TS% and 12.9 rebound rate, I think they could do a lot better for the max. Aldridge is a potentially good frontcourt mate if Oden ever realizes his potential, and I sort of doubt Portland actually looks to move Aldridge. I think they should see what they can get, though.

    They could also look to move Przybilla if they want to give Oden more than 20 mpg…

  128. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Allow me, as an impartial arbiter, to determine how snarky/mean-spirited these comments are:

    “Lets be serious its freaking Memphis. Actually it speaks to what teams think of him really if you look at it.”

    Al’s right, kind of. Lee’s put up gaudy numbers and has been passed up by most of the teams with cap space this season. That doesn’t mean those teams are right.

    “Apparently Villanueva is getting 5 yr – 35 million. Sorry, no way Lee gets much more than that unless Memphis really desperately wants him.”

    I agree. Villanueva has “cred,” however undeserved. I think Lee is far more valuable, but it’s obvious that he’s not looked upon very highly during this FA signing period, aside from potential trades/sign-and-trades. We can’t be sure.

    “He better hurry up and accept whatever Donnie Walsh is willing to offer him because it looks like Lee has lost any leverage he had.”

    A bit pessimistic, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an opinion to the contrary given the offseason moves so far.

    “If this off-season showed anything is outside of NY Im not too sure Lee is really looked at that highly.”

    Probably incorrect, but again, given the last week…

    “I say take whatever the Knicks are willing to give him, be happy and take D’Antoni out to dinner for padding his stats.”

    Snarky. Per 36 stats don’t lie (as much). If there’s a team that still relies on per game stats, they probably need an overhaul.

    “A late bid for him from who?????????????”

    Don’t care enough to look up context, but I don’t think that this is an attack so much as a statement on the shrinking list of teams able to offer him a contract.

    “Odom will be hard pressed to get 10 mil per year and will most likely have to settle for around 8 mil per year how in the world is Lee worth more than Odom, age be damned????”

    Whether he’s worth the money is another question, but I too have a hard time seeing Lee making more per year than Odom. The latter is certainly a question mark as far as “consistency” goes, but he’s coming off a string of good seasons and a great postseason performance (highest TS% he’s put up thus far). Since we’ve been admiring Big Snacks’ warm-up suit for the last few years, I’m sure we all know the value of a strong postseason performance to idiotic GMs.

    “Ted Nelson, the reason Memphis traded for Zach and not wait for Lee’s price to come down is probably because they flat out think Zach is a better player, actually probably a much better player since they are willing to take on his contract.”

    Not sure who opined that Lee’s contract is three years longer, which must be noted, but again, this is a valid hypothesis. They did take Zach, though, so the idea that they value him more than Lee certainly isn’t unfounded. Not a jab at Lee, still. Note that Al didn’t write “probably beacuse Zach is a better player;” instead, he wrote, “probably because they flat out think Zach is a better player.” Nothing wrong with hypothesizing here. Everyone does it. Doesn’t mean it’s true.

    “There you go. Since they both are horrible defenders and average about the same amount of blocks per game as I do teams around the NBA probably mostly would prefer Zach over Lee, off the court incidents not withstanding.”

    Bad statistical analysis. Can’t defend this one.

    “Am I the only one who has no clue as to why Portland would want David Lee, let alone for a 5 yr – 50 mil contract????”

    No, you’re not the only one. Their roster is jammed up with frontcourt players.

    “Ted Nelson, you are really beginning to annoy the crap out of me with your sarcastic replies to all my comments.”

    SHAZAAM!

    “You quite frankly must have a hard time reading.”

    BABOOM!

    Listen guys: Italian Stallion is gone from our beloved KB.net. There’s nothing to worry about (unless you regularly peruse Wages of Wins Journal). Let’s not get out of control.

  129. BigBlueAL

    LMAO!! I dunno man, like I mentioned a bunch of people here besides me have said basically the same things about David Lee as I have and Ted Nelson didnt call them out. Hell earlier during the season when many Lee debates came up I was nowhere near as critical of Lee as alot of people were. It safe to say Lee is a polarizing subject amongst us Knick fans to say the least.

    Hey I enjoy reading Ted Nelson’s posts for the most part because I like the fact that he does use statistical evidence and I enjoy reading and learning more about advanced stats regarding the NBA. Also he pretty much has sided with Donnie Walsh for the most part which I have as well. I just got real annoyed with his responses to my comments as if I was talking none sense just to diminish David Lee somehow. Ill say it once and Ill say it again, I hope he remains a Knick.

  130. jon abbey

    “I think Lee is far more valuable, but it’s obvious that he’s not looked upon very highly during this FA signing period, aside from potential trades/sign-and-trades.”

    I don’t think this is true, it’s just that he’s a restricted free agent. Millsap is in the same position, not enough teams with cap space and the ones who have it think that their offers will be matched and it’ll freeze their possibilities for a week.

  131. KNCIKS2010

    Does anybody know if the trade talks for Rubio are still on? I heard a sign and trade with Lee might be possible, but besides that, no word.

  132. BigBlueAL

    Well jon abbey you can breath a sigh of relief, it looks like Kidd is definitely staying with the Mavs.

  133. Ted Nelson

    Al,

    I wasn’t trying to call you out. I was just responding to the comments you made. The thing that’s kind of annoyed me has been that you’ve seemed to ignore everyone else’s comments about why Lee has been passed over by various teams, as far as RFA as Jon points out and some other stuff. The quotes I cited above were meant to show a pattern of ignoring those points and just saying that Lee is not valued around the league. Basically: he’s lucky to get an offer from the Knicks, won’t get any other offers because teams don’t value him, and his stats are somehow “padded.”

    Most of what I’ve been reading (Ric Bucher aside) is that Lee is valued by the front offices with cap space, and a bunch without it. He was clearly not as valuable to some teams as other players they actually agreed to sign, but it’s not entirely clear whether that had to do with the RFA thing, team needs (especially in Toronto’s case), or just flat out liking the other guy better. Probably a combination, but certainly the RFA thing played a role.

    So many RFAs over the years have signed offer sheets, only to have their teams match. With no numbers in front of me I would say far more (big) offer sheets are matched than not. Have any other restricted free agents received offer sheets yet this offseason (verbally or whatever is allowed at this point)? I can’t think of any (Gortat? I know there have been some rumors about Dallas… of course the thought there is that Orlando can’t afford to keep him), and the most notable three (Lee, Millsap, Sessions) have not as far as I know. There were rumors that OKC might prefer Millsap to Lee in part because they didn’t think Utah would match, then the rumors became that Utah wanted to keep Millsap and OKC hasn’t made an offer. I have no idea what went on behind the rumors, but it was an interesting pattern.

    A lot of teams don’t want to get involved in bidding up someone’s value just so he can sign elsewhere. I even remember George Steinbrenner, of all people, saying something to that effect a few years back. Lee’s preference to stay in NY has been well publicized, so that might have hurt him with other teams. He wants to stay, they want him back, why waste your time by making an offer sheet that the Knicks will match?

    I don’t know anything about the BYC stuff, but the Knicks’ willingness to match for Lee might make a sign-and-trade more likely. Any capped out team interested in making a push will have to deal with the BYC red tape, but will have to go through the Knicks in a sign-and-trade since the Knicks already made him an offer over the MLE: they’ll clearly match an MLE offer. As usual, teams with cap space have been all to eager to throw money around, to the point where they can’t wait a week on a RFA.

    I’m not trying to say that David Lee is the greatest thing since sliced bread (just as you’re not trying to say he’s garbage), I just have disagreed with a lot of the points you’ve made about him lately and taken some offense to the pattern that emerged in those comments.

  134. jon abbey

    I think Portland is the only worry at this point, and that really doesn’t seem to make sense in terms of their personnel. they’d be better off going after Sessions or Andre Miller.

  135. ess-dog

    It sounds like Lee’s agent is doing a lot of homework- finding as many sign and trade possibilities around the league that he can in order to drive up Lee’s price. This probably won’t work because I can’t imagine other teams putting their best deal on the table to Lee’s agent. Unless they have the cap space, Walsh can just say ‘no thanks’ and sign Lee for the Knicks. And as was mentioned, Portland doesn’t seem like a huge threat. Maybe OKC will swoop in last second… they are impossible to read.

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