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The Knicks still could get something big out of David Lee.
A league source said the Knicks have been offered Golden State's point guard Monta Ellis and Minnesota's Al Jefferson for Lee in separate sign-and-trade scenarios. But the Knicks are handcuffed on all moves until they find out what LeBron James and Dwyane Wade do.
Lee, who made the All-Star Team for the first time, is almost guaranteed not to be a Knick next season. But he is amenable to pulling off a sign-and-trade instead of an outright signing because he would get the extra sixth year -- at least $11 million.
The Knicks have eyed Ellis for awhile. Other point guards high on their list are Luke Ridnour and Raymond Felton, depending on price, according to a source. The Knicks also are interested in Carlos Arroyo -- for a lower price.
Yesterday, the Knicks lost out on Joe Johnson as he re-signed with Atlanta for the full max, but agent Arn Tellem still can deliver them Washington sharpshooter Mike Miller.
The Knicks met with Johnson and Miller Wednesday night in Santa Monica as both are clients of Tellem, whose longtime friends with team president Donnie Walsh and has an incentive to make the Knicks better. Danilo Gallinari is one of Tellem's clients, and he orchestrated the Tracy McGrady Knicks deal.
Ironically, the Cavaliers also are in the hunt for Miller, who is a friend of LeBron James. Miller actually named his son after James' manager, Maverick Carter. The Knicks and Cavaliers feel James is best when surrounded by multiple shooters to take the load off of him late in games.
The Cavaliers only can give Miller the $5.9 million mid-level exception or do a sign-and-trade with the Wizards. The Clippers also are pursuing Miller.
Tellem announced on his Huffington Post column Johnson was signing with the Hawks officially, taking the maximum $119 million salary -- $30 million more than the Knicks could offer because of an extra sixth-year.
Tellem wrote that Johnson would try to recruit free agents to make Atlanta stronger, even suggesting LeBron James. Johnson passed on the chance to team up with Amare' Stoudemire in New York, though Stoudemire has not agreed to terms yet.
"New York has Mike D'Antoni, the coach who nurtured Joe in Phoenix," Tellem wrote in his column. "Joe loved playing for D'Antoni and was excited by the possibility of joining him in New York. It seemed like a perfect match: a tenacious player who never naps oncourt in the city that never sleeps.
"When the free-agency period kicked in, Joe made a point of talking to the Hawks first. Their owners and new coach, Larry Drew, impressed Joe with their commitment to making the team championship-caliber. In turn, Joe felt equally committed to the Hawks, his teammates and the city of Atlanta."
I betcha here is where plans B-F come into play. Maybe we acquire Jefferson and spin him off for Melo or Parker; Maybe we acquire Ellis and pair him with Felton.
Interesting for sure!
Lee probably will accept a deal to either trade, b/c of the money and the fact that both play in cool places to live!