Archives For David Lee

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Kevin Garnett got traded.

Not like, recently, but he got traded back in 2007 when the dream of the Minnesota Timberwolves putting something significant around one of the greatest all around players ever to lace up the kicks had been taken off of life support. Because of the soul-sucking numbness that trade caused 25-year old Zach Harper (YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT! THIRD PERSON TALK, SON!), the eventual trade of Kevin Love hasn’t left me devastated or annoyed or angry. It’s just been something that we all knew was a possibility when David Kahn put the Wolves in the situation of three years with an opt out.

I won’t pretend I was outraged at the time. I wrote that it put pressure on the organization and it was something that would force them to become good or risk losing him. I’m a big fan of forcing the cream to rise to the top because it weeds out who belongs and who doesn’t belong. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for the Wolves. Their two best chances at making the playoffs came the last two seasons. In 2012-13, they were decimated by injuries and couldn’t field decent teams. In 2013-14, the Wolves simply weren’t good enough and the clock was ticking on Kevin Love’s free agency.

Love will be traded. He’s not going to stay. And it’s on the Wolves’ management/owner/coach to bring back the best return in a deal that will almost always be a losing cause. Therein lies the problem of the entire situation.  Continue Reading…

Well, the Timberwolves’ David Lee flirtation is over, as the former Knick has agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors. Chad Ford reports:

Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN.com that Lee has agreed to a sign-and-trade worth $80 million dollars over six years with the Golden State Warriors…The deal will send Lee to the Warriors for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike among others.

Wow, Anthony Randolph and Amar’e Stoudemire are on the same team. Galaxies will explode; matter will dissolve; Toney Douglas will become a man.

But the Wolves didn’t just mope around tearfully staring at their framed David Lee basketball card. Nope, instead they managed to land Michael Beasley, the second pick in the 2008 draft in exchange, essentially, for nothing:

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that the Heat agreed Thursday night to a trade that will send Beasley to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who can simply absorb Beasley into empty salary-cap space and furnish Miami with additional financial flexibility to continue the dramatic transformation of its roster. To complete the trade, Minnesota must only part with a 2011 second-round pick to acquire Beasley. The teams have also agreed to a swap of unspecified future first-round picks.

One reason that this move is awesome is that, until the Three Tenors officially sign their deals, the Heat have only one player on their roster, Mario Chalmers. This is the answer to one of those great heretofore totally irrelevant bored basketball nerd hypotheticals: would you trade your entire team for Lebron, Wade and Bosh? (Yes, apparently).

Now, as his draft position indicates, Beasley is magnificently talented; on age and ability alone you would have to say that the Wolves scored a major coup in accepting Miami’s largesse. On the other hand, he’s a weird dude, who has already been to rehab (either for a mental breakdown, for substance abuse, or both) and couldn’t manage to get through the NBA’s rookie transition program without getting fined $50 grand. Also, so far he hasn’t really been all that good (.516 TS%, 12.8 Rebound %, pretty scattershot defense) and doesn’t really seem to enjoy playing professional basketball. It’s really hard to tell how this will go.

On the other other hand, have you noticed that the Wolves now have a whole lot of forwards on their team? Especially ones (like Beasley, Love and Jefferson) that are a little undersized and that don’t defend all that well? More moves to come, I’ll wager.


Photo by lint machine

  • Things are happening everybody. Did you guys know that Lebron James was a free agent this summer? Wow, he’s probably going to make a lot of money, almost as much as Joe Johnson even! In any case, it seems that Lebron’s decision will have an effect on David Lee’s eventual destination. And although Golden State is evidently the front-runner in this little game, nothing is decided at the moment. Chad Ford reports at Truehoop:

Once LeBron announces his intentions tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN, Lee should know pretty quickly where he’ll land. League sources tell me that the Warriors are in the lead to land Lee in a sign-and-trade with the Knicks if New York doesn’t win the LeBron Lottery tonight…If the Knicks do land LeBron tonight, they’ll have to renounce their rights to Lee in order to fit in LeBron under the cap. That will kill any chances of a sign-and-trade.

Good to know, except that the Knicks are not going to land Lebron tonight, so.

  • Speaking of the salary cap, Marc Stein at ESPN tells us that the cap for next season is actually $2 million higher than expected.
  • Which is great news because it means that the Wolves can now go right ahead and sign Luke Ridnour. Problem solved!
  • Ups, not quite. Nothing is settled until the porcelain Rick Rickert joins the Wolves’ Summer League team. There, that should do it.
  • Don’t worry, everybody, Jonny Flynn is not being traded (although now how will the Wolves find playing time for Ridnour? Right?).
  • This last thing has nothing to do with the Wolves, but Joey from Straight Bangin’ so perfectly captures my feelings on the whole Lebron/Wade/Bosh  Event (assuming, of course, that Lebron does go to Miami, as it looks like he will) that I’ve got to show it to you (although its chock full of dirty words). His points, in brief: It is cowardly; it is lazy; it is boring for basketball; it undermines the NBA; it insults history. True on all counts:

If Miami wins two, or three, or four titles, I hope that no self-respecting fan anoints LeBron as a historical equivalent of Michael, Magic, Larry, and them. Those are NBA greats who sacrificed, who struggled, who worked to impose their will, believing that ultimately they would find a way to emboss the designs for a title with their unique signatures. LeBron has chosen otherwise, shrinking from the obligations of true greatness. This is a herb move for a man who will remain lost despite a new direction.

Good use of the word “herb,” dude. Two more bodies I’d add to the pile: 1) For a man who claims to love his home state, he doled out some serious torture to the people who’ve supported him his whole life. 2) Culminating in this one-hour television special–which I’ll watch if I can find the stomach–this whole hubristic fiasco has done more to turn everyday life into a vacuous, preening spectacle than a thousand episodes of The Hills. Thanks everybody.


By now we all know that David Lee has visited with the Timberwolves. He was “really impressed” with the Wolves and believes that we have a “beautiful city,” with “very nice people”. I’ve heard that about us.

We’ve also been told that the Knicks and Wolves are discussing the possibility of a sign-and-trade with Lee and Al Jefferson. This is no surprise. And here, Oceanary from Canis Hoopus explains that Al still has good trade value this Summer (and discusses some other possible destinations). But here’s something interesting, though. John Schumann of NBA.com writes that if the Knicks still have hope of landing either Lebron or Dwyane Wade, a sign-and-trade won’t do the trick (he also has some pretty complimentary things to say about Lee, by the way):

“But depending on what else the Knicks do in free agency, they may not be able to execute a sign-and-trade with Lee. In order for New York to do that, it must maintain his Bird rights with a salary cap hold of $10.5 million, which prevents the team from signing a second major free agent after Stoudemire. The salaries of both Jefferson ($13 million) and Ellis ($11 million) exceed Lee’s cap hold, so there’s no relief in making one of those deals.

Lee’s cap hold and Stoudemire’s starting salary of $17.2 million would put the Knicks’ cap space at $6.9 million. So if they still hope to land James or Wade, the Knicks can’t make any firm plans to sign-and-trade Lee. They would have to renounce his rights to sign James or Wade.”

Does the fact that the Knicks are even considering these offers mean that they have given up on signing one of the serious stars to team up with Amar’e Stoudemire? Are they just covering all the bases? The next few days should tell the tale. Meantime, here’s Lee wearing some ultra-tight, tasseled white pants and telling a very funny joke:

That is primitive! Here he is being cheered on by a bonnetted Stephon Marbury. Wow, the Knicks have had some weird teams:

Freedom Isn’t Free

Benjamin Polk —  July 1, 2010 — 6 Comments

Photo by Bohman

We all knew that Darko and Rudy Gay would get a late night call from David Kahn. The other lucky fellow? The Knicks’ David Lee.  From Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune:

“The NBA’s free-agency clock finally clanged late Wednesday night and Memphis forward Rudy Gay and New York forward David Lee quickly accepted the Timberwolves’ invitation to visit Minnesota.”

Despite his size and so-so D, Lee is really the only other player among the second-tier of free-agents who makes sense for the Wolves, especially if they move Al Jefferson in the process (wow, a possible front line of Lee, Love and Darko–how Auerbachian is that?). But let me inject a note of caution here. Chances are, in order to entice either Gay or Lee, the Wolves will have to massively overpay them, and likely give up some players in order to facilitate a sign-and-trade (especially now that they’ve evidently committed $13 million over the next three years to Nikola Pekovic). Just ask Detroit how much value you get when you massively overpay second-tier free-agents.

And if the Wolves do manage to sign Lee or Gay, then what? So much for that cap room we Wolves fans have been fantasizing over for the past thousand years. A starting lineup of Flynn, Webster, Johnson, Lee and Love, with Darko and Brewer coming off the bench–everybody comfortable with that for the next five seasons? I realize this sounds ridiculous, but if you’re asking me, the Wolves should either pull out all the stops to sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh or sit out the big-money free-agent game entirely. There’s just no reason to spend that much cheddar and give up your flexibility for the foreseeable future if it’s not going to completely transform your team. Ok, I’m done now.