At a basketball camp, David Lee speaks on his contract situation, courtesy of the Lower Hudson Journal News:
“It’s been a little frustrating, but my agent came up a couple of weeks ago and we had a meeting with Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni and found out where we were, and the purpose behind what’s going on, and it kind of all makes sense to me now,” Lee said. “We agreed on what I thought I was worth, so it’s not a money issue. What it comes down to is they need their flexibility for the 2010 summer. Whether they can get LeBron or not, they need to have the flexibility to make a run at a guy like that. And that’s completely understandable from my standpoint. We’re going to continue to work on a few sign-and-trade possibilities; otherwise, we’ll continue to work on a one-year-deal.”
Very few teams are spending money, so there haven’t been any free-agent offers, which the Knicks have the right to match. There was a meeting with Portland in Las Vegas, but there was little common ground.
A sign-and-trade would be extremely difficult since there are strict base-year-compensation rules that could get in the way.
“It has to be something where the Knicks can dump another salary or get another player in return they really want to have around,” Lee said. “There’s a couple of possibilities out there, and we’ll see if those come true, otherwise we’ll start talking to the Knicks about what we want to do for a one-year deal.”
I think a majority of Knick fans want to see Lee in a long term deal now, but from his words it seems unlikely. Walsh wants the financial freedom for 2010 and if he doesn’t sign Lee to a long term deal now, then he’s willing to risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent next year to accomplish that goal. It appears that Lee wants to stay in New York, and perhaps things may turn out this way. However Knick fans are likely going to have to wait until next summer to see where he ultimately lands.