09-04-2009, 10:50 PM
enjoying the RealGM courtesy of RF
Join Date: Aug 2009
David Lee Isn't Close to Signing Yet
Despite published reports to the contrary, sources close to David Lee are telling HOOPSWORLD that the free agent forward is not close to signing a one-year deal with the New York Knicks.
ESPN.com's Andy Marchand was told that Lee would be agreeing to a deal in the near future, but that wait may be longer than expected.
As Marchand mentioned, Lee is probably looking at a contract between $6 and $8 million. There aren't many viable suitors to sign the Florida-product at the moment and, as Knicks president Donnie Walsh has stated, a sign-and-trade is highly unlikely.
While the stalemate appears to be continuing, it's worth noting some reasons Lee was rumored to be seeking as much as eight figures per season.
In 2007-2008, Lee's rebounding rate was a respectable 17.5 as he played around 29 minutes per game. Last season, despite playing around five minutes more per contest, Lee's rebounding rate actually grew to 18.4 (he finished the year averaging 11.8 rpg).
His offense is even more intriguing. Lee averaged 16 ppg last season despite his laughably low usage rate (17.6). Unlike former Knicks power forward Zach Randolph (25.7 usg), Lee doesn't dominate the ball. That means his points generally don't come at the expense of his teammates'.
Lee has improved every season and appeared in 81 games each of the last two years. It may not happen this summer, but one day Lee should get the deal he's looking for.
And Where Does This Leave Nate Robinson?
Walsh recently told Frank Isola of the Daily News that things are, "moving along," with Nate Robinson's deal. Isola mentions that Robinson's one-year offer from the Knicks could be worth as much as $5 million.
That's not a bad deal; and Robinson should be eager to have a productive season. Even if things don't work out with the Knicks, a contract that small could easily be packaged before the trade deadline. There are teams out there that are interested in Robinson, but they just can't acquire him through free agency. Yes, the Knicks are trying to save money for next summer, but if LeBron James seems out of reach they might see what Robinson could bring in.
The holdup in Lee's deal, however, is probably a roadblock to completing Robinson's contract. It's hard to imagine the Knicks signing the latter without reaching some conclusion with the former.