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.