After the Knicks inked Amar’e Stoudemire, it was pretty clear that they weren’t going to make another move until LeBron signed on someone’s dotted line. But while reports surfaced earlier in the week that the Warriors would have to give up Monta Ellis in order to acquire a big man, now it appears they don’t. And instead of David Lee ending up in Minnesota, he very well could end up in the Bay.
According to Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times, multiple sources have reported that the Warriors have an offer on the table that wil send Anthony Randolph and other pieces to New York in a sign-and-trade deal for Lee.
If LeBron announces he is going to New York, in order to make room for his max contract, the Knicks would have to renounce Lee to free up the cap space. That would end the sign-and-trade possibility and the Warriors’ chances at Lee. But if LeBron doesn’t say the Knicks when he announces his decision, then the Warriors are “in the game” for Lee.
One source said the Knicks have at least three sign-and-trade offers on the table in case LeBron opts to play elsewhere. But the Warriors like their chances, considering Randolph is a hot commodity. The Knicks really like Randolph and weren’t so high on Ellis. Certainly, the contracts have something to do with it.
While there is no word on who the other “pieces” would be heading back to New York, Thompson believes the most obvious candidates are Ronny Turiaf, Kelenna Azubuike and Brandon Wright, or an expiring contract such as Vladimir Radmanovic. At the end of the day, anyone coming back in exchange for Lee would most likely make the team.
When looking at the contract, things get a little tricky:
Golden State would have to work out a deal with Lee for a sign-and-trade to happen, even if the Knicks like the Warriors’ offer better. One source said the Warriors will not offer a maximum contract, but the Warriors could go as high as $13 million in the first year of a six-year contract (that would be $78 million excluding raises). With Chicago signing Carlos Boozer, that is one less team the Warriors have to worry about. However, New Jersey can still outbid the Warriors. Plus, Lee could, in the end, prefer to land elsewhere.
What do you think? Would you make this trade?
Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.