New York Knicks rumors mention the possible return of David Lee again. The Knicks almost acquired Lee before the 2016 NBA trade deadline, but couldn’t get a deal done with the Boston Celtics that helped the bottom line. A new report from ESPN.com now has Lee speaking well of the Knicks and about his time in New York. During the NBA offseason, Lee will become a free agent again, raising the possibility that Knicks president Phil Jackson could sign him to help fill out the roster.
David Lee played five seasons for the New York Knicks from 2005-2010, making it on the Eastern Conference All-Star team in that final year. During the 2009-2010 NBA season, Lee averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds before becoming a free agent. At that point, he signed a huge contract with the Golden State Warriors, making the Western Conference All-Star team and helping the team to an NBA title in 2015. During the 2015-16 NBA season, Lee split time between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, with an increase in playing time lately.
Lee will turn 33 in April, but could certainly be a good role player for a number of NBA teams. This is where the New York Knicks rumors come up again, as the franchise will need to sign a number of veterans during the NBA offseason. Phil Jackson has to surround Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis with enough talent to get through a grueling 82-game regular season, as well as a deep postseason run. The Knicks have the money to do it now, but it comes down to finding enough players who want to join a rebuilding project.
With the New York Knicks playing against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night (March 30), it gave David Lee ample time to address the prospect of a return to the Big Apple. While he didn’t provide specifics about his plans during the NBA offseason, Lee will certainly get fans buzzing about coming back to the team that drafted him.
“[It’s] something we even discussed in the buyout process – had a conversation with them. These next eight games are most important and we’ll deal with that later…. I’ll have some good choices. I’m looking forward to playing three, four more years. I feel my body feels as healthy as ever. I always look back as my time in New York as a great time in my life, get a start in the league from last guy on the bench to captain by the last year or two. More than anything, I discovered my game in the NBA.”
What will happen with the various New York Knicks rumors in the offseason? The first question is whether Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams will accept their player options or decide to head into free agency. If Afflalo and Williams opt out from the Knicks, the franchise will have about $12.6 million more to spend. That would put the team at about $56.4 in guaranteed salaries for the 2016-17 NBA season. The NBA salary cap is expected to rise to about $85 million as well, giving the Knicks even more room to work with.
David Lee was a fan favorite when he was originally with the Knicks, as he would put in a lot of work every night scrambling for loose balls and working to get rebounds. He was a double-double on almost every night during the NBA season and fans quickly became enamored with him. The franchise wanted to go in a different direction when he became a free agent, though, and hasn’t been able to recover since then. While he might not be the All-Star player he was before, Lee could certainly provide the New York Knicks with a great rebounder off the bench if he does decide to return.
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