The internet is buzzing with rumors of trade talks between the Warriors and New York Knicks centering on two players: Monta Ellis and David Lee.
The New York Post reported rumors of talks between three teams, with Ellis going to New York, David Lee to Minnesota and Al Jefferson to the Warriors:
When Stoudemire becomes official, it would end the five-year era of David Lee, but set up a possibility of a sign-and-trade to add another piece. There’s been rumors of a three-way trade talk between Golden State, Minnesota and the Knicks where Lee winds up with the Timberwolves, Monta Ellis comes to the Knicks and Al Jefferson goes to Golden State. Lee visited Minnesota yesterday and it has only $7 million in cap room, meaning he’d want a sign-and-trade.
CSN’s Matt Steinmetz reported today that the Warriors are targeting Lee, that they’ve talked with the Knicks about a sign-and-trade, that Anthony Randolph (along with Ellis) might be in the discussion as well, and that the chance of the Warriors acquiring Al Jefferson is zero:
The New York Post reported that the Warriors, Knicks and Timberwolves were talking about a three-way trade that would put Lee in Minnesota and Al Jefferson in Golden State. That’s not going to happen. Plain and simple, the Warriors have no interest in Jefferson. He hasn’t proven he’s fully recovered from knee surgery, isn’t suited toward an uptempo game and has three more years and $42 million remaining on his contract.
All kinds of other news sources picked up the news and ran with it (kind of like I’m doing). I don’t feel the need to link to those.
If this happens, it will be the first time in a long time that the Warriors have made a trade or free-agent signing that actually helps improve the team. Isn’t that a nice a concept? Lee isn’t a perfect player — his defense is suspect — but he’s a gifted offensive power forward who excels in the pick-and-roll and is one of the best rebounding big men in the NBA (half of good defense is good rebounding). He’s a very hard worker, he never stops hustling. He’s got a big, powerful frame and is a smart player — he makes good passes and doesn’t make mistakes. He’s a far superior player to any forward or center on the Warriors roster right now and would come in immediately and help the Warriors get better.
It’s true that Lee’s numbers might have been skewed by the Knicks’ offensive system, but there’s no doubt he’s a fantastic player. If the Warriors could turn Ellis and Randolph into Lee, that would be a fantastic trade.