If You were Donnie Walsh would you lower your offer to Lee due to lack of interest?
You cant blame David Lee's agent too much for not accepting Walsh's intial contract offer because after all taken 7 million per season seemed awfully low for a 16 and 11 guy (albeit he plays hard on D about as much as Ellen Degeneres) so you could not at all blame him for not taking a very calculated risk and not having Lee sign the initial offer from The Knicks.
But the gamble did not pay off to say the least! Memphis flirted hard, but decided on Zach Randolph and David Lee has one team who can sign him to an offer sheet worth more than The Knicks want to offer and that is Portland who is now rumored to have an interest in the cheeper alternative in Millsap. OKC and Minny can too, but, I think 7 million in NY is better than 10 in Minny or OKC
So what was supposed to be the big payday for Lee has not worked out yet. And now Lee's options are not too pretty, one is he plays for the qualifying offer of -ouch- less than 3 million, or he takes the best offer Donnie throws at him.
Which brings up my next question, with the interest in Lee not being what is expected, do The Knicks drop their offer of 7 million per down to 6.5 or so? Now, in all likelyhood he should make more than that as an unrestricted next year, but, not if an injury occurs and not if the NBA cap is expected to shrink even further the League's revenue dips teams will be much more consevative in their spending and 10 million to non defending Low post player is a bit expensive. And after all Lee may feel "a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush".
So do you think if/when negotiations resume with The Knicks and Lee's camp, Donnie will offer a little less than he did before. Or even better do you think he will structure the contract differently? For instance, what if they only guaranteed the first four years of the deal and made the fifth a team option. Or what if he shortens the length of the contract extension, again if the ball was in his court David Lee and his agent can all the shots, now they may get to a point where they have to take the best offer out there and so far there has only been one, and that is from The Knicks!
Now if Lee signs the qualifying offer, it makes him a lot easier to trade in a package with a player like Curry or Jefferies.
One thing for sure is Donnie showed more poise than Isiah who wouldve signed both Lee and Nate to extensions last October for more than they wouldve even been considered for elsewhere.
Well Played Donnie!