Would you like the Warriors acquiring David Lee if they could also keep guard Monta Ellis?
That is a distinct possibility depending on LeBron James’ decision tomorrow. Multiple sources told me the Warriors have an offer on the table that sends forward 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.
I have not confirmed who the other players are, but the obvious candidates are center Ronny Turiaf, swingman Kelenna Azubuike and forward Brandon Wright. It’s possible an expiring contract is in there (Vladimir Radmanovic). But, from what I’m told, the Warriors advantage is that they can offer players, which the Knicks’ need.
Of course, 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.
Warriors’ management, I’m told, is excited at the prospect of adding Lee to Ellis, Stephen Curry and center Andris Biedrins. That would give them four positions set and address their rebounding disparity.
Definitely risks involved. If the Warriors gave Lee $10 million a year, no raises, that is $60 million committed. To do that and give up Randolph, whew, that is a lot. But, Lee is a 20-10 guy who has proven himself. He is more of a win-now guy than Randolph. I think Randolph has star potential, but I understand if the team wants to cash in potential for certainty. Still, if Lee isn’t a 20-and-10 guy … I’ll just say it’s risky. But I definitely like Lee with Monta than Lee inexchange for Monta. The effectiveness of Lee will depend a lot on Biedrins. If he gets back to what he was, and he would have help on the boards, that would go a long way to helping this potential Lee deal pay off.
Oddly enough, one source was convinced the Warriors can pull off this big a deal without onwer Chris Cohan pulling the plug. With the sale pending, it would seem adding such a big contract is off limits. But I was assured it was not, and if everything falls in place the Warriors will do this deal. The belief is that getting Lee does not hurt the value of the franchise.
* Because they aren’t giving away one of their big draws (Curry, Ellis), though one could argue Randolph is a big deal to Ws fans
* Because they are getting an All-Star. I’m told president Robert Rowell and even Cohan are excited about adding Lee
* Because all they really did was replace Maggette (and whoever they threw in) with Lee, so it is pretty much revenue neutral for this season