David Lee Agrees To Six-Year, $80 Million Sign-And-Trade Deal To Join Golden State

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David Lee Agrees To Sign-And-Trade To Join Warriors

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, David Lee has agreed to a six-year, $80 million sign-and-trade deal that will send him to the Golden State Warriors.

The deal with send Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuiketo the Knicks. New York general manager Donnie Walsh has reportedly coveted Randolph for some time and thinks he will match well with Amar'e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari.

The Raptors, Nets, Timberwolves and Suns had also made pitches to acquire Lee in recent days.


David Lee's Agent, Mark Bartelstein, Denies Trade To Warriors Is A Done Deal

Despite the reports that the Knicks and Warriors are on the brink of finalizing a trade that will send David Lee to Golden State and Anthony Randolph to New York (provided, of course, that LeBron James does not sign with the Knicks), Lee's agent Mark Bartelstein denies that any deal is in place, according to ESPN's Chad Ford. Bartelstein maintains that nothing is "imminent" with Lee, and 5-6 teams remain in play for Lee's services, per the Howard Beck of the New York Times.

We're going to say there's nothing to see here; this is pretty standard boilerplate from Bartelstein until the deal is official. And that won't happen until at least 9:15 PM EDT Thursday night when LeBron James finally reveals his "Decision" to the world. If James were to surprisingly choose the Knicks, the deal between New York and Golden State would be off, as New York would have to renounce their rights to Lee to sign James. Until then, expect Bartelstein to continue to try to gin up as much interest as possible in his client in case the deal falls through.

The Knicks, meanwhile, are acting like they expect the trade to happen (and not to land LeBron James) given that they have reportedly already reached out to Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.


Knicks On Verge Of Landing Anthony Randolph, Others From Warriors In Sign-And-Trade For David Lee

Assuming LeBron James doesn't shock the world and make a last-minute commitment to the New York Knicks, David Lee will be heading to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade deal. According to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group, the Knicks and Warriors have agreed in principle to a deal that would send David Lee to Golden State in exchange for Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf. However, if the Knicks do manage to lure LeBron to play in MSG, they will have to renounce their rights to Lee, voiding the proposed the deal with the Warriors.

The Warriors will reportedly offer Lee a six-year, $80 million deal, averaging out to roughly $13 million per year. And while either the Nets or Timberwolves could still make a push for Lee, it's exceedingly unlikely that it would happen, given that Lee would have to forfeit a lucrative sixth year in a contract to sign with New Jersey, and Minnesota doesn't have any players the Knicks covet more than they do Randolph.

From the Knicks' perspective, this trade is a complete coup; they recoup great value from a player they were going to let walk in free agency, in the tantalizingly talented Randolph and the sharpshooter Azubuike. The 21-year old Randolph is only a year removed from dominating the summer league last July, creating buzz that he was one of the best prospects in the game before he clashed with Don Nelson and found himself on the bench for much of the regular season. At a wiry 6-foot-11, Randolph possesses an enticing array of skills, although he is admittedly raw and is likely at least a few years away from putting it all together mentally and physically -- if he ever does. Still, young bigs with his potential are rare commodities, making him a high price to give up for a good but not great player in Lee. Turiaf is more salary flotsam to make the trade work, but Azubuike would likely get minutes in the Knicks' thin backcourt, with his accuracy from deep making him an ideal fit in Mike D'Antoni's system.

As for the Warriors, Lee is an obvious upgrade over Randolph over the short-term -- Lee averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 boards for the Knicks last season -- and along with Andris Biedrins should provide Golden State some heft on the boards. After playing in D'Antoni's uptempo system the past two seasons in New York, Lee shouldn't have any trouble fitting in with the Warriors, and his solid mid-range game should complement Stephen Curry in a pick-and-pop game. Still, giving up on Randolph so quickly to commit $80 million to the 27-year old Lee is a highly questionable move. As the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami explains:

Lee gets the edge on productivity and fit with Curry, and if that all works out, the Warriors still look like a 40-win team to me. Lee also gets the edge for marketability, but I don’t include that category, even though I know the Warriors always do and geepers, Mookie Blaylock was so darn marketable he led them to the marketing playoffs.

Randolph gets the edge on age, salary and suitability to fit on an elite team… all three categories, to me, are the most important when you’re a bad team like the Warriors.

For more on the Warriors and Knicks, check out Golden State of Mind and Posting and Toasting.


Knicks Land Anthony Randolph, Others In Sign-And-Trade With Warriors For David Lee

The Knicks have gone from being the odds-on favorites to land LeBron James last night (based on...a tweet from Jared Dudley and the fact that "The Decision" will air from Greenwich, Connecticut) to suddenly looking like also-rans, with rumors that James will sign with Miami to create a power triumvirate along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. So where does that leave the Knicks? According to the Oakland Tribune, if the Knicks fail to land James, the team will likely pursue a sign-and-trade with the Warriors, sending David Lee to Golden State in return for Anthony Randolph, and possibly Kelenna Azuibuke and/or Vladimir Radmanovic's expiring contract.

The Nets and Timberwolves reportedly remain in play for Lee (Minnesota would have to pull off a sign-and-trade as well), but this reported package from Golden State might be the best value New York could get for the soon-to-be-departed Lee. Randolph possesses a tantalizing package of impossible skills in his long, wiry frame, and was quite inexplicably never really given a chance by Don Nelson despite the Warriors' struggles last season after dominating the summer league last season and creating buzz as one of the top prospects in the game. Azuibuke is the type of three-point shooter who would thrive in Mike D'Antoni's system (as we saw under Don Nelson, to be sure), and even Radmanovic would give the Knicks decent value as a throw-in contract, given his own long-range accuracy.

As for the Warriors, giving up on Randolph so quickly would be a disappointment, but acquiring a solid rebounder and scorer in the mold of Lee would be more than a decent return. A front line of Lee, Biedrins (assuming he returns to form), with Ekpe Udoh and Brandan Wright is, in theory, more than respectable. The Warriors are expected to offer Lee a contract beginning at $13 million in the first season, raising the total value to $80-90 million.

Of course -- like everything else -- this all depends on where a certain Global Icon lands. Of course.

For more on the Warriors and Knicks, check out Golden State Of Mind and Posting And Toasting.

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