Unrestricted free agent Courtney Lee has agreed to sign with the Knicks, according to Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy. Lee will reportedly sign a four-year, $50 million deal.
Lee is coming off a solid season. After being traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Charlotte Hornets in a three-team deal at the trade deadline, Lee played a crucial role for the Hornets as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and gave the Miami Heat all they could handle in the first round.
In his 30 games with the Hornets, Lee averaged 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 30 minutes per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from behind the arc. Lee is a great example of a 3-and-D player, excelling with his shot from deep while also showing up as a great perimeter defender. He's no Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson or Paul George, but at 30 years old he's a veteran who still has some good years left in him on both sides of the ball. He played well alongside a score-first point guard like Kemba Walker, and proved that he can be a contributor on a team ready to contend.
Lee is coming off a four-year, $21.35 million deal. In his exit interview with the Hornets, he said he would love to be back in Charlotte. "[I] got a chance to build chemistry and friendships with the guys since I've been here and it's been fun playing with them," Lee said. "Everybody is just playing together. There's no egos out there at all. It's always about making the right play and the best play to help win and that's the kind of guys I want to be on a team with."
Once the Hornets acquired Marco Belinelli in a trade for the 22nd draft pick, it seemed they might be preparing for life without Lee. The Sacramento Kings were reportedly targeting Lee -- David Joerger had coached him for two-and-a-half years in Memphis.
Lee isn't a youngster anymore, but he still has the tools to make a difference. The eight-year veteran has made the playoffs five times in his career. Now with the Knicks for the next four years, he'll be expected to prove once again how valuable he can be as a defender and a shooter. If last year's performance is any indication, he's ready for the challenge.