Is David Lee worth 8-10 million a year?
Here is a list of starting PFs doing better then Lee this season. We will use this season because this is Lee's best season:
Carlos Boozer (before injury)
Zach Randolph (before injury, arguable)
His career growth on Lee's apparent strengths (points per minute, rebounds per minute)
05-06 0.31 p/m 0.27 r/m
06-07 0.36 p/m 0.35 r/m
07-08 0.37 p/m 0.31 r/m
08-09 0.43 p/m 0.32 r/m
There has been some growth, and some improvement statistically.
Here is some things about Lee most people agree on:
+Great teammate adds to team chemistry
+Great Hustle, hard worker
+Fits in D'antoni's system
+Very well-liked by all knick's fans.
-Lacks a consistent jumpshot or rage
-Lacks a consistent post-up game
-Lacks play off experience
My take on this:
David Lee is an overrated power forward for some knick fans and a VERY underrated power forward to the rest of the NBA. I cannot tell you how many times that a basketball fan has said to me David who? David Lee fits very well in this system and we should make every attempt to keep him; however, David Lee is not worth 8-10 million on this team.
Come 2010, David Lee will not be the number one guy. He will not be the number two guy. He may not even be the number three guy. Come 2010, David Lee may be coming off the bench and playing 15-20 minutes depending who we sign, that is not worth 8-10 million. I can very well see us getting Lebron, Bosh, or Amare and with chandler developing quickly, who looks like a better defender, there might not be room for David Lee in the starting line up.
David Lee has not grown very much in his NBA career. He has gotten a little better. He has improved more on his strengths; however, he has yet to make any strides at his weaknesses. Where is that jumpshot he has been working at? Where is his offensive and defensive post game? Where is his overall defense?
8-10 Million will keep us from getting two superstars. We will get one superstar and have David Lee. David Lee is not a superstar. Why would I want one superstar and David Lee vs Two superstars?
8-10 Million might keep us from signing Nate Robinson, Chris Duhon, Wilson Chandler, Gallo, or a young talent. We could probably get two of those guys for 8-10 million a year.
We do not need David Lee to attract basketball players to NYK. Players want to play in NYK and they want to play for D'antoni. Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, Joe Johnson, etc. aren't going to this "Well, sh*t the knicks got rid of D.Lee, F this!".
Note in the beginning I said David Lee is not worth 8-10 million on this team. He could very well be worth that money on another team. He could be worth that as an individual player. He isn't worth that to the knicks. It isn't his fault, its more like Isiahs. If we didn't sign James, Curry, Jefferies, etc for all that money, then we could keep Lee and take a chance. But we did sign those people and we can't get rid of them easily. Sorry D Lee.