David Lee has nothing to lose. Sure, he’d like to stay in New York, but after the season he just had there is going to be demand for his services. He’s going to have options.
And because he has nothing to lose, he was pretty honest about the summer the Knicks face in an interview on ESPN 1050.
“I think I’d be pretty scared for the riding season ticket holders. It’s gonna be interesting. I think there’s two things that are certain. That there’s nothing better than winning in New York and then on the other side of the coin is there’s nothing worse than losing in New York. I’ve taken years off my life the last few years here dealing with losing and dealing with the media aspect of that and the fan aspect of it. I think that if I come back to New York, I want it to be on a winning team and I think it will be…
“The Knicks have had opportunities the last couple of summers with no competition to secure me long term and have decided to go a different route and do one year deals, which I completely understand. And Mr. Walsh went above and beyond the qualifying offer by four million or whatever it was to show good faith. I have no ill feelings to the Knicks and it’s been a great relationship for five years. But now it’s a matter of I put in the work for five years, I’ve gotten better and better, and now it’s about securing my future.”
There is no fault here, only a question. Lee is about to get his first big kick at the can. He wants a good one, can’t blame him. The Knicks need to keep their options available for a complete roster overhaul. We all get that. But does anyone really think the Knicks are going to land two players better than David Lee this summer? Is it worth the risk to let him play the field while you aim for people unlikely to leave their current, championship contending teams?
Okay, that was two questions. But they are valid ones.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.