Here’s a juicy one.
NY Post reports that there’s a trade being discussed that would send Al Jefferson to the Warriors, Monta Ellis to the Knicks, and David Lee to the Timberwolves. Take a second to get your brain around that.
What we’re really looking at if this rumor has any weight (and that’s a whole other puzzle to solve) is a situation where three teams with players in their respective doghouses are looking to ditch said players for guys in the other teams’ doghouses.
David Lee has been arguably the most consistent Knick (unless you want to count Eddy Curry, but then, that’s not really the kind of consistency you’re looking for) and has put up numbers, is coachable and versatile. He was given a one-year flyer last year by the Knicks in a year where everyone was saving up, naturally, for this season.
Monta Ellis is a bizarre case. Fast, efficient, and dynamic. But then, well, he fell off a moped and then the wheels fell off the Warriors and now he’s considered a liability, especially with the existence of Stephen Curry on the mortal coil.
But Al Jefferson? That’s the mind-boggling one. There’s an injury history, nothing to be overlooked. His defense has a ways to go, that’s for sure. But Jefferson is the type of player you can give the ball to in the block with 2 minutes to go in a tight game and say “get us a bucket.” Do you realize how few players there are in that category in this league? And yet he’s been in David Kahn’s doghouse since the moment he took the job. His play hasn’t decline, nor has he blown up at a coach, but his trade value is decimated, simply by the virtue of how long and hard he’s been out on the line.
So now Jefferson could be running and gunning with subpar coaching, Ellis could be running in Seven Seconds or Less, and David Lee could be teamed with Darko for a frontcourt combo that will strike fear into the hearts of, well… no one. It’s Darko. But still.
It’s a weird summer. If this gets pulled off, it’s only going to get weirder.