Free David Lee?

Mike Lupica must have hit his head before he wrote this week’s column, because he had a good point in the beginning of the column, where he points out that David Lee is eighth in the NBA in rebounds per game, while playing the fewest minutes out of all the eight.

Kevin Garnett MIN 39.0 12.6
Dwight Howard ORL 36.0 12.6
Marcus Camby DEN 32.5 12.1
Carlos Boozer UTA 37.0 11.8
Tyson Chandler NOK 32.7 11.3
Emeka Okafor CHA 35.5 11.0
Jermaine O’Neal IND 35.8 10.5
David Lee NY 30.0 10.4

And in the Knicks’ last loss, Lee barely played until it was too late.

Lupica made the argument that Isiah is just trying to make his free agent signing look good, but I think that is wholly unfair, as A. Isiah gets credit FOR Lee – HE drafted him! So if Isiah was just looking for things to make him look good, Lee would be it and B. Isiah has no problem with not playing Jerome James.

Still, Lupica is correct (man, that just sounds wrong, doesn’t it?) in that it is Jared Jeffries who David Lee is competing with. I think Isiah just really likes Jeffries, and believes that he is the better defensive player, and more important to have on the floor.

Still, Jeffries didn’t help much during the third quarter of the Charlotte game.

Isiah said after the game, “We ran into a hot team. They shot well, they made shots. They did the correct things, they made plays. I don’t have any excuses other than the other team that we played tonight, they were hot. They did everything right.” I understand that Isiah is just trying to put a good spin on things, but the Knicks defense was just AWFUL.

Also, while Quentin Richardson really improved his defense last year, during the previous game, Breen and Clyde were calling Q the Knicks “best perimeter defender.” What is Jeffries, then?

Finally, I love that Steph is playing so much better, but 42 minutes is a crapload of minutes for a guy who has looked tired at times this year. I’d prefer not to see that. I’d like to see them try starting Q at the 2.

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64 thoughts to “Free David Lee?”

  1. David Lee needs to start and play 35minutes a night. Not only does he rebound at one of the best rates in the league, but Curry plays better with Lee next to him – that’s somewhat intangible I know, but they definitely seem like a better pairing.

    Also, as for Jefferies’ playing time – he didn’t actually play much against Charlotte either, only 16 minutes I believe, and that’s actually a problem. I thought we signed him for PERIMETER defense? Meanwhile Matt Carroll and Derek Anderson shredded us from 3pt land and Jefferies didn’t leave the pine.

    Washington used Jefferies at shooting guard a lot last year and that’s something I think this club should try – or at least have QRich and Jefferies guarding the wings and playing together more. If we use Jefferies as the perimeter defender he’s supposed to be, there’s really no reason why he should be competing with Lee for minutes. Frye and Crawford have been pretty bad defensively, particularly Crawford, and deserve to be benched for some of our better defenders.

    This team has been much better when it goes big, the most impressive wins of the season to my mind were the Utah game, the most recent Bulls game and the Pistons game and every single game we were playing big lineups. Lee started the first two at small forward and Jefferies started the Detroit game at SF and actually did a nice job on Prince (4-16FG) and then was the only one on the team who could cover Rip Hamilton in the 3rd OT, when previously he’d been burning Crawford and Marbury for 50pts.

    Against Charlotte Marbury played 42 minutes, Crawford 42 minutes, QRich 38 minutes. That means for most of the game, all three were on the floor together in a small lineup and our perimeter defense was horrendous. Jefferies should get some minutes at shooting guard and Marbury and Crawford’s minutes should be monitored more closely – especially if they’re getting burned repeatedly and making bad turnovers. Jefferies came here for his ability to guard the perimeter and so far we have not used that enough, outside of the Detroit game.

  2. yeah, Q and Lee both need to start, effective immediately. the longer it takes Isiah to realize this/give in to this/take a shot with this, the less likely it is that we’ll actually be able to threaten Toronto and NJ for the Atlantic this season.

    the reason I think Jeffries may be a special case in terms of Isiah trying to force-feed him minutes is that he’s the only one who’s been brought in since Dolan closed the pursestrings, so clearly Isiah had to make a specific case to Dolan of why they needed Jeffries. I’m OK with Jeffries, although his limitations are numerous and clear (and I think his D is overrated, although he does get quite a few deflections), but he should be a bench player at this point, although still in the rotation.

  3. I think the real issue is that Crawford & Frye have not been challenged like Curry has been. Curry has lived up to his potential in many ways & continues to grow. Crawford & Frye have to man up in the same manner & strive to improve. I believe Crawford & Frye should sit & earn their minutes. The ability is there but they are defensive liabilities & too inconsistant. I’m sorry but Crawford should be on his way to being the next Rip & Frye needs to work with Aguire to compliment his game. Jeffries has been horrible but if Lee is to start his defense will be needed. Therefore, Starbury, Q, Jeff, Lee & Curry have to start. a mix of offense with penetration (Starbury), spot up shooting(Q)& post play(Curry). Perimeter d from Q & Jeff & rebounding from Lee. I love Isiah but as a coach I’m not in love with how he takes timeouts & how he substitutes. Lee has to start. Oh yeah Q is definitely the leader of this team & must start.

  4. Lee and Jefferies on the court at the same time means basically playing 3 on 5 on offense. While I’d like to see Lee try to take the 15 foot jumper more, neither of these guys is an outside threat. When teams double Curry, and Eddy kicks it out to either of them, they can’t knock down that open shot.

    On defense, the problem with a center like Curry is that he needs a great rebounder AND defender next to him to mask his deficiencies. Lee is a great rebounder, but not a great defender. Jefferies seems to be an OK defender, but not too good on the glass.

    I almost feel like if Curry and Tyson Chandler played alongside each other again, given how much they’ve both developed since Chicago, they could be a formidable pair.

  5. Nights where Jefferies has out preformed Lee are seldom if any and thats with him getting the start usually around 10 more minutes. Plus, Lee’s numbers are better himself when he starts. Isiah is a bad coach, the Knicks went on that winning streak when everyone was suspended because Lee was Isiah’s only option then. Now, he’s screwing it up and playing Jefferies. What game is he watching?

  6. I think the reason is obvious lee doesn’t play more .

    He is a bad defensive player , he’s not that good on his man and he doesn’t provide effective help defense, with Curry being no great shot blocker or help defender himself , you need at least 1 post player to provide this.

    If David Lee wants to play more he should do more of the defensive dirty work, like kurt thomas used to in new york , David Lee is just as strong and much more athletic .

    Jared Jeffries and Channing Frye will eventually just take more of his minutes if he doesn’t get better at defense. To me he is lucky he gets to play as much as he does with the lapses he goes through at times on the defensive end and with curry, crawford and marbury playing the way they are they really dont need offense especially with richardson back , they need someone to watch their backs in the lane.

  7. Lee has been the Knicks’ best player so far this year, even better than Curry (I can’t believe anyone watching them night in and night out disagrees with this, but if you do, take a look at the +/- numbers here:

    he’s as good a rebounder as there is in the league right now (especially crucial next to Curry, as mentioned above) and a superb passer (the best example being the one he threw past halfcourt to Marbury for the game-winner against Utah, but he’s good in the halfcourt also). he’s a very good finisher around the basket also.

    he’s working on his ability to create and hit shots for himself and his man-to-man D, and I think he’ll only get better in both these categories the more he plays. his drives from the perimeter lately have generally been very under control, if not always successful (that comes next).

    and maybe most importantly, on a team filled with incredibly stupid players (I mean basketball IQ), he’s a very smart player. he has to get 35 minutes a game, at least.

  8. I do not really care if he starts games as long as he finishes them which is what he is still doing. Also he does not need 35 mins. I think his effectiveness peaks at about 30-32 mins, because he is still somewhat of a hustle player and is most effective if he fresh. That means he should get 30-32 minutes a game.

    I also do not understand how people are complaining that Jeffries is taking his minutes. I do not believe that Isiah is planning to use anyone except Curry, Frye and Lee at the Pf and C spots. Which is exactly what happend during the Charlotte loss. If that is the case Lee’s minutes will be limited to about 30 because Frye needs minutes too and Curry should get 36 or so because he is our most important player.

    Lee should not play the SF spot except in dire circumstances because he is a very poor perimeter defender and playing on the perimeter limits his most effective trait by pulling him away from the glass.

  9. David lee is a good player but we need a better player in #3 position, what if we trade francis and jeffries or even nate for a small forward who can step up in the perimeter defense and can shoot outside like artest??

  10. don’t settle for Artest, for a package that tempting, we should easily be able to get LeBron.

    this is the team we’ve got, people, and there’s enough talent here if Isiah utilizes it right. seeing Lee and Q in the starting lineup in a couple of hours would really make my day, but I’m not holding my breath. big game today though, need this one if we’re going to stick around, too many tougher ones coming up after this.

  11. Jon:

    I agree that Q and Lee should be starting. On the positive side, I read that Q would be starting tonight – if memory serves, in place of Crawford. However, I’m concerned that with starter’s minutes, Q may reaggravate his back spasms. If this is true, that would give us a starting five of Curry, Frye, Jeffries, Q and Marbury. Jeffries was playing much better before the suspension. With any luck, Artest will not have another career night against the Knicks.

    Btw, just saw that Webb is going to the Pistons. Glad to see the Knicks didn’t pick him up.

  12. it’s a day game, not a night game, TDM. mid third quarter right now, tie game, Q started for Crawford, Lee still coming off the bench (and looking dominant in the first half in limited time).

  13. Well that was a good win. Lee looked good. I like that Isiah stayed with the 8 man rotation this game.

  14. yeah, but I don’t think that 8 man rotation, where everyone gets 20+ minutes, can include both Jeffries and Balkman. those two are just too similar in their strengths and deficiencies. pick one (I’d go with Balkman since he has more potential to develop), give them 20-25 minutes and give the other minutes to Lee and Frye, neither of whom played enough this game (Frye was going nuts in the first half, barely played in the second half).

    but, yeah, nice and necessary win. they’re going to need to kick it up a notch for this next stretch, and take a lot better care of the ball, Marbury and Q specifically.

  15. N. Robinson – DNP Coach’s Decision.

    Interesting choice.

    That game demonstrated just how tough Isiah’s decisions on minutes are. Lee, Frye, and Curry all were having outstanding games while Jeffries (presumably guarding Artest right?) limited him to extremely lousy shooting after he torched us before. Obviously it’s better to have to deal with the problems associated with everyone playing well than with no one playing well, as was the case for much of last year under Brown, but it’s a tough call whether or not Lee should be on the floor at the expense of one of the other three bigs (and vice versa) in a game like that where they’re playing so well.

  16. I think Isiah played the right eight players. I would like to see all of the PF and C minutes going to Frye, Lee and Curry but they got 91 of the 96 so I guess thats not too bad.

    I like the new starting lineup, and I think Nate is unnecessary right now so its probably better he sat.

  17. We should trade Nate to the Rangers for a goaltender.

    They need an enforcer, and we need someone that can protect the net.

  18. I’m not sure anyone really stops Arenas at this point, once in a while he stops himself. he did have a bad game against us the first time, but scored at will in the more recent game. 51 again today against Utah and a walkoff three, dude is playing unbelievable ball this season.

    but I was just saying that I think Nate will see minutes against the teams with quicker and shorter PGs, he seems to be able to bother them sometimes. who knows, though, maybe he’s out of the rotation entirely now.

  19. jon — i’m assuming you’re the same jon from IHM, right? just put two and two together. glad to see someone else’s interests include both experimental music and the state of the knick nation….

    my $0.02: lee should definitely be starting at this point — rebounds, plus second in the league in FG%, plus i agree he works well with curry. plus give the fans something they want!

    also i’m not sure i really see much of anything coming from jeffries at the moment — he played for what, 20 minutes yesterday, no points, couple of rebounds, didn’t see amazing D, not much else of anything. why so long? taking frye out in the second — why? he had 17 in the first and was drawing attention away from curry. also leaving balkman in for the final minutes when all he was doing was making stupid fouls?

    or… perhaps i just have yet to divine the mysterious genius behind isiah’s GM decisions. i’ll wait and see….

  20. hey, Nick (right?)! my worlds are colliding, like George Costanza…

    I agree with all of that. Balkman was doing a nice job on Artest for a stretch in the fourth, but it was clear he needed to be pulled a few minutes before he was and it almost cost them big-time.

    I also agree that Jeffries’ D, at least to this point, has been somewhat overtouted, but he’s still only played 13 games this year, so I’m willing to be convinced.

  21. “Lupica made the argument that Isiah is just trying to make his free agent signing look good, but I think that is wholly unfair, as A. Isiah gets credit FOR Lee – HE drafted him! So if Isiah was just looking for things to make him look good, Lee would be it and B. Isiah has no problem with not playing Jerome James.”

    Knickerblogger – Even though Isiah gets credit for Lee and Jeffries, he has a lot more riding on Jeffries. Jeffries is signed for $30 million over the next 5 years and was the Knicks'”big free-agent acquisition”; Lee is making less than 1 million dollars. There is a difference there. Isiah looks much worse if Jeffries fails/doesn’t play than if Lee faulters, and so he is forced to live with his $30 mistake.

    As far as your logic with Jerome James: that signing, as awful as it was, happend last year. People tend to focus on Isiah’s more recent moves (Jeffries) than on James, who was so out of shape last year that fans pretty much gave up on him ever playing. I think that Isiah has pretty much accepted failure for the James signing, and now moved on to do damage control on his most recent useless acquistion.

    It is sad that the Knicks’ progress is being haulted by a GM/coach who has to spend the entire season covering up his mistakes by inserting incompatible players into the rotation.

  22. I think Jeffries’ signing deserves way more of a break for now. For one thing, it’s too early to tell if this guy who’s been on and off the court with injuries and suspensions is playing at anything near peak efficiency yet. For another thing, everyone here seems to be taking it for granted that Q-Rich suddenly is deserving of 35 mpg split between the 2 and 3. Do you guys remember what he was like last year??? If you’re like me, you probably wrote him off sometime last season and assumed he would be a prime buyout candidate or a 12th man since no one would trade for him with that contract, that back, and those anemic numbers. As it turned out, he’s been playing some of the best basketball of his career from the very first game of the season. Also, everyone was dumping on Balkman – who knew he could log decent minutes at the 3? Going into this season it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to assume that our only options at SF were a converted PF whose strength is rebounding down low not guarding the perimeter in Lee or an aging, defenseless, crabby veteran in Jalen Rose (who we then bought out) and that Balkman wouldn’t make an impact his first season.

    Jerome James’ signing was unequivocally retarded from the start because of his age and proven unreliability. And everyone said so then. Trading for Curry right afterwards just made it an unmitigated disaster of a signing.

  23. Though it is true that Q’s season has been somewhat of a surprise, especially considering his play last year, and that Q’s play makes the Jeffries signing look worse now than before, I think the Jeffries signing highlights an important characteristic of Isiah Thomas as a GM. He is an obsessive consumer. He loves to add, even when addition is not necessary. For example, if he was so impressed with Balkman that he needed to draft him with the 21st pick, then surely Isiah must have seen him as a 3…so why the need to sign Jeffries especially when we already had Jalen Rose and Lee (not to mention Q)? Because Isiah has no long-term plan. He is all about the quick fix, the hot pickup, the blockbuster trade. And that’s why the Knicks are stuck going year-to-year, trying to fill a 9-man rotation with pieces that don’t quite fit.

  24. Jeffries isn’t long term? He was in his 20s last I checked. A solid defender can be the core of an elite team’s starting lineup for years – look at Doug Christie in Sacramento or Bruce Bowen with the Spurs.

  25. In the NBA, you build a winning team by building around your star players – first you figure out who your 2-3 top players are, and then you bring in guys through the draft or free agency or trades to complement those players. The Knicks are a sub .500 team still trying to figure out which of their players are going to contribute to their long-term plans. Entering this season, there were virtually no shoe-ins: everyone from Marbury to Francis to Richardson to Crawford has been mentioned as a trade possibility, both before the season and as recently as a couple of weeks ago. My point is that the Knicks roster entering the season was not a stable one. Bringing in Jeffries, a guy who is a nice complimentary player on a winning team, only clutters the line-up for the Knicks. He is taking valuable minutes from shooters who play defense (Q) and young and promising forwards (Lee, Frye, and even Balkman), and the Knicks need those minutes to see if they really have something here.

    Just because Isiah signed Jeffries to a 5-year deal does not mean he has a long term plan. That just means it’s a bad contract. A long-term plan consists of sorting out your current roster, identifying your stars (Curry and Marbury?), developing your young talent (Frye and Lee), making decisions about talented but wild players (Crawford and Nate), and make moves which improve the current cap-space (i.e. saving Jalen Rose as a trading chip).

    Finally, I think the Bowen and Christie comparisons are poor because both those guys could do one thing aside from play defense: shoot. Jeffries cannot.

  26. RKade, you are so misled.

    Jeffries is NOT a BIG free agent signing. Tru, his contract is for 30 million. BUT THATS OVER 6 YEARS !!

    That means he’s getting alittle over 5 mill a year. You knwo who else makes 5 mill a year ? Marquis Daniels, Donyell Marshall. Heck Jeffries makes 1.5 mill more than Zelkjo Zebraca!
    Zelkjo who ? thats right. It’s not alot of money. Let’s stop dwelling on the large number of 30 mill and let’s start realizing 5 mill is not alot for a basketball player. No one is trying to justify anything especially anything money related (aside form unilaterally starting starbury)

    Just because David Lee isnt starting doesnt mean he’s not getting his minutes.

  27. Also, Lee plays the 4 spot. If he were to play the 3 he would get burned by most 3’s and would also be too far form the basket to do what he does best; which is board.

  28. First of all, I was being sarcastic when I wrote “big free-agent acquisition.” That’s why I used quotations. My point was that Isiah couldn’t just sit put over the off-season, he had to go ahead and add another unecessary player because he is a serial consumer who tries to find the quick solution rather thatn look at the big picture. The money, while not a lot, would not be an issue on most teams. But the Knicks are not most teams. They passed the salary cap miles ago, and have no business giving out a 6-year guarenteed contract to a player who they don’t even need!

    Even though Jeffries is not cutting into Lee’s minutes, most Knick fans would at least like to see Lee start just to see how it works…and he is cutting into Q’s minutes.

  29. Saying that Jared Jefferies was an unnecessary acquisition is utterly ridiculous. This is yet another case of people on this board playing monday morning quaterback in the most obnoxious fashion. Think about the state of our team at the end of last season. Q was on unqualified bust status. Jalen Rose was a lame duck. David Lee was playing out of position at the 3. Our perimeter defense was the worst in the league, it’s still a weak spot this season. Isiah was making a conserted effort to change the one-dimensional orientation of the team. Shoot first, ask questions and play defense never. No one knew that Q would turn over a new leaf and become this amazing perimeter defensive force. The bottom line is that it is far far to early to be crucifying Isiah for the Jefferies signing. At the time of the signing it was broadly applauded as a breath of fresh air, and no one has a sample of evidence large enough to make any conclusions about it yet, that is a fact no one can dispute.

  30. yeah, I don’t have a problem with the signing of Jeffries. the problem is it’s an always constant battle in the NBA between having too few quality players in your rotation and too many, neither is ideal and injuries happen all the time.

    I do think, as currently constituted and as I said above, that it’s hard to justify giving both Jeffries and Balkman 20+ minutes a game, as their strengths and weaknesses are very similar (I love Balkman, but LEARN TO FINISH A LAYUP, please). I go with what Peter Vecsey said today (that Balkman should get 20+ minutes every game he’s healthy) and keep Balkman in the rotation as the 7th man, with Nate and Jeffries being the 8th and 9th guys as of now.

    I’m also not sure I buy the whole “David Lee can’t guard SFs” line I keep seeing here but that’s more of a gut reaction that it’s not true than one based on anything tangible. maybe let Frye guard SFs when they’re both in along with Curry, but I think that’s the front line of the future (and the present), and I’d like to see them all on the floor together to see what they can do as much as possible.

  31. RKade – you are right on. Don’t listen to these morons. Jeffries for 1 or 2 years, maybe…but 6 years! Isiah out of his mind!

  32. his contract is actually for 5 years. one would think someone so quick to label other ‘morons’ would be able to access Google, but maybe not.

  33. RKade32 wrote “is signed for $30 million over the next 5 years”

    illMatic corrected him by saying “his contract is for 30 million. BUT THATS OVER 6 YEARS !!”

    I just went with the most recent post. So i guess illMatic is a moron, bc i thought it was 5 years. haha.

  34. people make judgments way too quickly about Isiah’s deals. Jeffries has played 13 games so far for NY, writing him off as a bust only makes the person doing so look stupid.

    to change the topic to something more interesting, I did Eddy Curry’s offensive numbers by month:

    November: 15 points, .530 FG %, .546 FT %
    December: 21.6 points, .580 FG %, .600 FT %
    January: 24 points, .698 FG %, .724 FT %

    the free throw improvement is the most exciting to me, 80 percent (32-40) over the last four games. it’s only fair to note that the January schedule so far has been pretty weak opposition, but those numbers are still ridiculous.

    also, kind of silly to comment on something after just one game, but despite Q and Crawford both having bad numbers in the first game of being switched, I thought it was very promising that Crawford hit those two big shots at the end.

    since Isiah isn’t going to take him out much once he comes in, coming off the bench is the perfect solution. he sits the first 8 minutes, then plays most of the rest of the way. he only played 34 minutes instead of his more usual 42 or so, and maybe that gave him the extra legs to actually hit the shots at the end that he’s been missing most of the year.

  35. Jon was specifically called a moron by someone with no explanation provided. Then later responded by pointing out in detailed fashion how any particular person might be classified as stupid for lambasting Isiah for a signing that is only 13 games old. A reasonable person would find the latter substantially more legit.

  36. hi jon — yup, it is indeed nick here! i’m finding it a nice change of pace discussing hoops rather than the imperialist tendencies of EAI….

    anycase, maybe y’all have seen this already, but there’s a pretty interesting article in the times today about jeffries, who looks to be assigned the task of (attempting to) shut down arenas tonight:

    guess we’ll see how he does — this is a pretty decent test of his defensive acumen! the article did point out a couple of big jeffries plays that i forget about on monday’s game, namely the block in the opening 2 minutes, another block on artest. but yes, i agree with jon — it’s way too quick to judge him so far. he may be hit-and-miss so far, but he’s 12 games in and had injuries + a new team to deal with. let’s hold off a bit before blasting him, yeah?

  37. huh, Jeffries on Arenas, can’t say that’s an idea I would have considered. I’d have to think that means that Jamison will be posting and toasting Marbury or Crawford at will, but I guess we’ll see tonight.

  38. Thanks np –

    SHould be interesting. I was not a fan of the Jeffries signing at the time and remain unconvinced, but I hope he proves me wrong. If he can stop Arenas in Washington, I’ll definitely be impressed.

  39. YES! FREE THE LEE! The man’s a rebounding machine. With 10-15 shots a night, he’d be a 20-10 guy. He and Curry should be good for 35 and 20 every night for the next ten years.

  40. I read that Marbury is going to be guarding Arenas tonight, with Jeffries and Balkman getting spot minutes. Unfortunately, I still think Arenas will get his no matter who is guarding him.

    Anyone notice that Deke has been playing like a monster for Houston since Yao Ming went down with injury? He’s averaging like 14 boards and 2 blks per. And he’s 58! Maybe we can pawn Jerome James off on JVG, since they probably need some insurance in case Deke breaks a hip.

  41. This is from David Thorpe via ESPN

    “Harry (El Segundo, CA): Can you name a few good players who would become great players..or a few great players who could become legend…if only they’d start on a Karl Malone type workout regimen.

    David Thorpe: If David Lee had a jumper and a little tighter body, he’d be a game changing hall of famer. That’s how talented he is.”

    My own two cents — It’s an interesting problem the Knicks have w/r/t The Lee/Frye/Curry troika at PF/C. Curry is starting to consistently put up all-star numbers. Frye (as we all saw last year) also can be a good/great PF, and Lee seems to be morphing into Rodman + better finishing around the rim/free throws. They all need (at least) 35 (or more) mpg to really develop. Whaddaya do?

    My gut reaction is that Frye will eventually be the one shopped as (in today’s undersized NBA) he would be an upgrade at center for about 25 of the teams out there (save Orlando, Miami, Houston, Golden State [Biedrins, folks, watch out] Denver). Don’t get me wrong: I loves me some Channing, but he’s still the biggest asset we have (in terms of trades) and one of the few positions where we’re legitimately overstocked (as opposed to the glut of PGs who need the ball — Francis, Marbs, Craw, Nate — to be effective.

  42. Sure he COULD be, but Frye (b/c of his ability to play Center) has more value (in a trade), even though Lee has clearly outplayed him this year. If the Knicks (and I really hope they don’t) wanted to get Ray Allen, a Frye-led package would be a great start. If they wanted Paul Pierce, the Celts would demand Frye in any deal. Last year, the Nugs wanted Frye for K-Mart. There was gossip about a Frye-Odom swap w/LA.

    Young centers just aren’t available that offen, while PFs, even potentially VERY GOOD ones like Lee get moved all the time — witness today’s GS-Indy deal. Ike Diogu, who Mullin refused to give up for Artest, just got sent as a virtual throw in in the Jackson-Harrington/Murphy-Dunleavy deal.

    Mediocre/lousy centers, on the other hand, routinely get signed to the worst contracts out there (Kaman, Nene, Dalembert, Blount, Olowokandi, and going back a bit, McIlvaine, McCullough,Geiger, the list goes on and on). This is why Frye has more trade value than Lee.

  43. confucious:

    man who trade David Lee, end season with 33 wins on knees in front of Dolan for make “evidentiary progress”

    also, my personal fav, man who go to bed with itchy butt, wake up with stinky fingers

  44. not sure who David Thorpe is and why he calls the Knicks “we”, but anyone listing Francis first on a list of current Knicks PGs isn’t paying much attention, hard to take him too seriously.

    that being said, I really don’t see why all three of those guys can’t play together, with Lee and Frye switching defensive duties on the two forwards depending on the matchups. with Q and Marbury at the guards, it would be much harder to double Curry, Marbury could play pick and roll with Frye, and I don’t think this team would be as bad defensively as most people seem to assume. if you look at the stats for different 5 man units here;

    the only one with a frontline of Lee/Curry/Frye has pretty good numbers so far, got to give them more of a chance in the right matchups.

    and if one does get dealt, of course it has to be Frye, Lee and Curry complement each other’s skills much better than Frye and Curry. but I don’t see why anyone gets traded, it’s not like there are more consistent guards out there on the trade market than the ones we have (and please, no short-term solutions like Ray Allen).

  45. Everyone can agree that there are different tiered player in the NBA. David Lee can be used as bait for the upper tiered super star or possbily a number 1 pick. We have seen Shaq, Iverson and other superstars traded. If the package is right most of the Knicks players should be tradeable.

  46. RKADE – I didn’t write this article.

    TMART – this is not a board. It’s a blog.

    illmatic – with our cap situation, guys that take the MLE are our big free agent signings. ;-)

    Dan – “A solid defender can be the core of an elite team?s starting lineup for years – look at Doug Christie in Sacramento or Bruce Bowen with the Spurs.” One difference is that those guys were ALL NBA caliber defenders.

  47. Why couldn’t the Knicks Trade

    Balkman or Nate Robinson or both

    For this guy Ike Digou as those two would really work well in Don Nelson’s run and gun style of play.

    And Golden State had soured on him as they just threw him in to the deal.

  48. we need Balkman and Nate Robinson more than we would need Diogu, to start. he’s a very promising post scorer who doesn’t play D, what exactly do we need that for? we’re pretty set at PF/C, in case you haven’t noticed. it’s guard consistency that we need, and the only real way that’s going to come is internally, from the players we’ve already got on board. that’s why it’s great to see Steph’s D improving so much, if Crawford ever gets more consistent, we’re going to be tough to match up with for most teams.

    and GS didn’t just “throw in” Diogu, he’s the only guy with possible upside in that deal for Indiana, Dunleavy and Murphy are mediocrities (being generous) with huge albatross contracts. no way they take both of them without Diogu also, IMO, no matter how badly they wanted to get Jackson out of that locker room.

  49. Two Things –

    First – Can anyone tell me where to get a free David Lee T-shirt?

    Second – In response to Jon’s post about Curry’s improvement, I agree his offensive numbers are improving. He is scoring and shooting a great percentage from the field and the line. But his lack of assists, steals, blocks and rebounds is amazing, its almost historic. He had three rebounds last night against Miami. He has had 28 games so far this year without a block. His max was three in the first game of the year, and that was the only time. He recently went six straight games without a block, four games in which he played more than forty minutes. So far this year he has registered 31 assists, 18 steals, 24 blocks, and 143 turnovers. Thats almost twice as many turnovers as auxiliary stats. And he averages only seven rebounds per game, which is really low for his minutes and position. Those numbers are so bad it’s almost ludicrous. He has a bad motor and a bad spring, rarely does he ever jsut go up in the paint and dunk over people. He just doesn’t jump well enough and has short arms, if you couldnt tell from the blocks numbers.

    I love the Knicks, I hope I turn out to be wrong, but look at a guy like Tim Duncan’s stats and you see how far Curry has to go. Duncan has 147 assists, 32 steals, 94 blocks, and 127 turnovers. while averaging 10.5 boards per game. Thats a huge disparity.

  50. One thing I got to say about David Lee… save the best for last…. 30th pick :)

    do you know if he has a fan club? or a blog? or something….

  51. Tim Duncan is one of the two best players of the post-Jordan era, along with Shaq. clearly Curry is never going to be that well-rounded unless he makes some kind of pact with the devil.

    however, he’s only 24, and hopefully he’ll continue to improve. he’s arguably the best post scorer in the entire league over the last couple of months, including Duncan (who operates a little farther out usually). that’s a helluva improvement from his play last year and preceding years, he’s in much better shape than he’s ever been for one. only 1-2 guys in the league at any point have no deficiencies, even Duncan has been a lousy FT shooter for long stretches. Curry is a borderline All-Star right now, hopefully he’ll keep working on his deficiencies.

    also, thankfully we have Lee in the starting lineup to help pick up some of the rebounding slack. wait, what’s that? Lee doesn’t start? ah, never mind… :)

  52. I think with the numbers he’s putting up, they should give him a chance to play more and see if it works. If it doesn’t work you can go back to the old way, I just find it hard to justify limiting a guy’s minutes who is playing at that high of a level. I don’t think any other team would limit a player’s minutes if he was putting up these kind of numbers.

  53. DLEE is by far my favorite player as much as i would like him to start as long as he is getting 35-40 min a game it’s cool. Once he develops a outside jump shot he will be the man. He works harder than anyone and is defintly uselfish unlike crawford and curry. More DLEE equals more W’s

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