Tag:David Lee
Posted on: February 11, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 6:33 pm
 

Kobe, Iverson out for All-Star (UPDATE)

DALLAS -- Kobe Bryant's injured ankle will keep him out of Sunday's All-Star Game, with hometown point guard Jason Kidd replacing him for the West. Allen Iverson also will miss the game while he tends to his ill daughter, replaced by David Lee.

Bryant, who tied Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Kevin Garnett, and John Havlicek for the third-most All-Star selections with 13, missed the Lakers' last three games before the break with an assortment of injuries. A sprained left ankle is what KO'd him for Sunday.

Kidd's selection means that Golden State's Monta Ellis gets snubbed for the third time. Chauncey Billups and Chris Kaman were previously picked as injury replacements over the Warriors' guard, who is sixth in the league in scoring.

Iverson, an 11-time All-Star, has been out since Feb. 3 to deal with his daughter's undisclosed health issues. Lee, a first-time All-Star having the best season of his career, gives the Knicks their first All-Star selection since 2001. Lee was named MVP of the rookie challenge in 2007.

East coach Stan Van Gundy and West coach George Karl will decide who replaces Bryant and Iverson in the starting lineups.

The NBA's official All-Star roster denotes starters with an asterisk (*) and injury replacements with an ampersand (&). Allow me to suggest using the asterisk for Kidd, whose appointment to the West squad was as much about the weather as anything else. Dallas was beseiged by a persistent snowstorm Thursday, with 7-9 inches predicted before it's over. Kidd, reportedly in Phoenix, will thus have a shot at actually making it to Dallas by Sunday.

Posted on: February 11, 2010 2:02 am
Edited on: February 11, 2010 1:17 pm
 

Rose MRI OK, will make trip to Dallas

DALLAS -- Chris Paul and Brandon Roy already have been knocked out of the All-Star Game with injuries. Kobe Bryant is suffering with finger, ankle, and hip ailments, and Allen Iverson is tending to his sick daughter. But it appears that Derrick Rose has dodged the All-Star injury bug.

An MRI on Rose's hip and back revealed "no significant injury," the Bulls said Thursday, and Rose will make the trip to Dallas for All-Star weekend. He will be re-evaluated here Saturday by team physician Dr. Brian Cole.

Rose left Wednesday night's 107-87 loss to Orlando with a bruised right hip, putting his status for Sunday's All-Star Game in doubt. The team was "hopeful" that the injury was limited to soft tissue damage and wouldn't keep Rose out of Sunday's game. Bulls fans might wonder why Rose would risk his health for the stretch run just to participate in an exhibition game. But given the positive MRI results and Rose's level of enthusiasm for making his first All-Star appearance, it appears to be a non-issue.

If Rose were to suffer a setback, the Hawks' Josh Smith and the Knicks' David Lee would be the most likely candidates to be named as the injury replacement. My pick would be Smith; he was a more deserving All-Star than Al Horford in the first place.
Posted on: January 28, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: January 28, 2010 7:45 pm
 

All-Star Reserves (UPDATE)

First of all, as Charles Barkley would say, I love the seven first-time selections. All-Star weekend is badly in need of some juice, and I think there's a good chance that some of these first-timers -- Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo -- will provide some of the weekend's most memorable moments.

I know this is a knee-jerk sports world and we're supposed to fight about everything, but I don't have enormous problems with the coaches' selections. In the East, they picked Rose and Al Horford over my picks -- David Lee and Josh Smith. I disagree on Horford; Smith is the Hawks' most important player after Joe Johnson, and Horford doesn't play enough minutes to be an All-Star. Lee deserves to be there, too. Being based in New York, I have more than my share of chances to watch him bust his behind on a talent-less team. Rose? I don't have any problem with him being an All-Star. He'll be great to watch in an All-Star Game. Guys like Rose understand the moment and know how to rise to it.

In the West, I only differed with the coaches on one selection: They chose Zach Randolph; I chose Chauncey Billups. If I met with every coach who chose Randolph and we debated outside some NBA locker room, I don't think anybody would win. Z-Bo is having a great year on a surprisingly competitive team. Billups remains the glue that keeps the Nuggets together. I'll take the No. 2 pick in that draft and be happy.

In making my picks, I used the same criteria the coaches are instructed to use: select seven reserves, ranked 1-7 for weighting purposes, according to the following positional breakdown: center, two forwards, two guards, and two wild cards.


Here were my picks -- with the coaches' alternative in parentheses, where applicable:

East

1. Chris Bosh, F, Toronto: The "other" 2010 free agent went into the season determined to put up huge numbers, which he is. Bosh's steady play also is a big reason for the Raptors' recent resurgence.

2. Rajon Rondo, G, Boston: Nothing against Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen, but Rondo may have surpassed both of them as the most important Celtic after Paul Pierce.

3. Josh Smith, F, Atlanta (Coaches picked Derrick Rose): Defense, shot-blocking, scoring -- J-Smoove does it all, except take too many 3-pointers. He's eliminated that annoying aspect of his game and deserves to be rewarded.

4. Gerald Wallace, F (wild card), Charlotte: This is a tough call between Wallace and Danny Granger. I'll give the nod to Wallace because of defense and team success.

5. David Lee, C, Knicks (Coaches picked Al Horford): It's time to stop attributing Lee's machine-like double-double production to Mike D'Antoni's system and recognize that there's nothing wrong with being one of the best pick-and-roll big men in the league.

6. Joe Johnson, G, Atlanta: Johnson should send a thank-you gift to Jamal Crawford, whose ability to absorb some of the end-of-quarter/end-of-game scoring load has kept Johnson fresh.

7. Paul Pierce, F (wild card), Boston: Rondo makes the Celtics' engine go, but Pierce is still the closer -- one of the best in the league at both ends of the floor.


West


1. Dirk Nowitzki, F, Dallas: Still playing at an MVP level and never gets the recognition he deserves.

2. Chris Paul, G, New Orleans: In terms of statistics and overall talent, the best point guard in the league.

3. Brandon Roy, G, Portland: With all of Portland's injuries -- including Roy's own balky hamstring of late -- this budding superstar deserves credit for keeping the Blazers afloat.

4. Chauncey Billups, G (wild card), Denver (Coaches picked Zach Randolph): We take Mr. Big Shot for granted because he's so consistent, but remember: He's consistently great. Monta Ellis deserves serious consideration here or for one of the wild-card spots, but there are simply too many great guards in the West for him to break through.

5. Pau Gasol, C, Lakers: Despite missing a big chunk of the season, Gasol has played enough to warrant an All-Star nod. When he's on the floor, he's among the most gifted and impactful big men in the league. Gasol or Randolph? I'll take Gasol.

6. Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City: We knew he could score, but now KD is emerging as a much improved defender and leader.

7. Deron Williams, G (wild card), Utah: This is why there's no room for Randolph on my squad, despite his solid 20-point, 11-rebound averages on a much improved Memphis team. D-Will is too good -- and the Jazz's recent resurgence too notable to overlook -- for one of the top point guards in the NBA to continue to get overlooked.

Posted on: October 27, 2009 7:59 am
Edited on: October 27, 2009 7:18 pm
 

No extension for Rondo (UPDATE)

CLEVELAND -- It appears that Rajon Rondo will take the floor for the season opener in Cleveland Tuesday night with the knowledge that he won't get the contract extension from the Celtics that he's been seeking.

A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com that the Celtics and Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, were not able to come to terms on a five-year extension that would've forestalled the point guard's foray into restricted free agency next season.

Technically, the two sides have until Saturday to finalize such an agreement. But they appear to be too far apart to make that a realistic possibility.

"It'll take care of itself," Rondo said Tuesday night before the season opener against Cleveland. "I'm just focused on doing my job (Tuesday night). It's crazy timing, though."

Is this bad for the Celtics? Under normal circumstances, I'd say yes. But an offseason of soul searching is still fresh in Rondo's mind after coach Doc Rivers and team president Danny Ainge directly challenged him to be more of a leader. It's a risk for the Celtics, who could very well face the possibility of another title contender stealing Rondo with an offer sheet next summer. But the Celtics no doubt are emboldened by the difficulty several marquee RFAs had in their attempts to change teams this past summer -- the Knicks' David Lee and Utah's Paul Millsap chief among them -- and believe it's worth the risk. I believe they're right.

Also, don't underestimate the motivation Rondo will feel to perform this season and earn a lucrative offer sheet, which the Celtics almost certainly will match anyway. Few players in the league carry a chip on their shoulders as well as Rondo, who could use this perceived snub to propel him -- and the Celtics -- back to the NBA Finals. 

It's a risk that could very well pay off for both sides.
 

Posted on: September 4, 2009 4:39 pm
 

Knicks, Lee to huddle next week

Knicks president Donnie Walsh and the agent for restricted free agent David Lee plan to speak after Labor Day, and both sides are hopeful they can resolve the power forward's contract stalemate before the team reports to training camp at the end of the month.

Don't read too much into reports elsewhere that Walsh and agent Mark Bartelstein are on the verge of agreeing on a one-year deal that would make Lee an unrestricted free agent next summer. That's clearly where this is going, but nothing has changed on the Lee front for at least a month, Bartelstein said Friday. As we've reported here previously, Walsh and Bartelstein both recognize that a one-year deal is the only possible outcome here if a sign-and-trade or long-term deal can't be consummated. (Well, Lee sitting out the entire season is another possible outcome, but let's not be ignorant.) Anyway, Bartelstein said Friday that he and Walsh haven't even exchanged contract figures on a one-year deal yet. And based on Bartelstein's comments, that aspect of the negotiation could be somewhat time-consuming.

"If we can't do a sign-and-trade, we'll come up with a deal that pays David for one year based upon who he is as a player and based on comparables and playing for the minimum for four years and being their best player," Bartelstein said. "(Walsh) wants to do the right thing for someone who clearly deserves a long-term deal, but the organization has clearly decided not to do a long-term deal."

In short, don't waste any of your Labor Day weekend contemplating the significance of Lee being a Knick next season. For a restricted free agent faced with a marketplace featuring only three teams with significant cap space -- and with his own team hoarding cap space for next summer -- that has, for weeks, been the only way this was going to end.

Category: NBA
Posted on: August 3, 2009 5:45 pm
 

Knicks, Lee still at impasse

David Lee's existence in the NBA's purgatory known as restricted free agency has entered its second month, and negotiations with the Knicks are "nowhere new," the power forward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Monday.

The Knicks are "open minded" and "willing to listen," said Bartelstein, who continues to seek sign-and-trade possibilities that are severely limited by the dearth of teams with cap space and Lee's status as a base-year compensation player -- which makes it more difficult to match salaries in a trade. Running out of options, Bartelstein and Knicks president Donnie Walsh have begun talking in general terms about a one-year deal that would make Lee an unrestricted free agent next summer, when at least half the league's teams will have significant salary cap room.

"There's a possibility a one-year deal could happen," Bartelstein said. "We're not ruling anything out. If it’s a one-year deal, we’ll try to get a one-year deal that compensates him for who he is."

Lee's situation is holding up some of the remaining player movement at the back end of the free-agent process. Comparable players like the Celtics' Glen "Big Baby" Davis (also a restricted free agent), Tyrus Thomas (eligible for an extension with the Bulls), and Aaron Gray (who is expected to re-sign with Chicago) have been waiting to see what happens with Lee before proceeding. So have their respective teams. The Celtics, meanwhile, struck pre-emptively Monday by agreeing to terms on a one-year, minimum salary deal with free agent forward Shelden Williams.

The Knicks, determined to hold onto precious 2010 cap space, also are in negotiations with Bucks restricted free agent Ramon Sessions. But a person familiar with those talks said they reached an impasse over the weekend -- although the line of communication remains open. The Knicks and Sessions' camp exchanged proposals on Friday and again Monday, without coming to terms on an offer sheet.

The Knicks have until Thursday to negotiate exclusively with ex-Clipper Jason Williams, who has decided to end his retirement. By claiming Williams on waivers, the Knicks acquired the Clippers' exclusive negotiating rights. But a person with direct knowledge of the Knicks' plans said they intend to trade Williams if they can reach agreement with him on a contract. Since they acquired his rights by claiming him on waivers, the Knicks wouldn't have to wait the customary three months to trade him. It's a risk-free way to acquire another minor asset without incurring any cost. This is a significant change in approach for the Knicks, who have spent the past decade or so acquiring minor assets at extraordinary cost.




Posted on: July 2, 2009 1:26 am
 

Turkoglu not a one-team show

While Hedo Turkoglu is being wined and dined in two time zones by the Portland Trail Blazers, his other potential suitors aren't sitting around waiting for them to kiss each other good night.

The Toronto Raptors, for one, are deliberating what it would take to make Turkoglu an offer that would top the the five-year, $50 million proposal that Portland can offer, as reported early Wednesday by CBSSports.com. According to a person familiar with the situation, the Raptors are mulling whether they would be better off making a pre-emptive strike for Turkoglu -- which would entail renouncing the rights to Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino, and Anthony Parker -- or trying to keep those players and sign a mid-level free agent. Toronto has yet to offer an extension to 2010 free agent Chris Bosh; that decision is tied to the others. And Turkoglu isn't the only free agent Toronto is considering. League sources indicated early Thursday that the Raptors also were contemplating an offer to restricted free agent David Lee. Any offer to Lee, by definition, would be in the $8-$10 million range so it would test the Knicks' threshold for matching. And Lee's list of potential suitors shrank by one Wednesday when Memphis traded Quentin Richardson to the Clippers for power forward Zach Randolph.

With so many moving parts -- and with Turkoglu having entertained Blazers coach Nate McMillan in Orlando Wednesday night with plans to visit Portland on Thursday -- it is clear that the recruitment of Turkoglu isn't a one-team show. Turkoglu's camp expected Portland to extend its formal offer during the course of Turkoglu's recruiting trip to the Pacific Northwest on Thursday.

If Portland landed Turkoglu, it would be the first big-ticket free-agent signing of GM Kevin Pritchard's reign. While some involved might view Toronto's preparation of a pre-emptive offer as brash or shameless, this is why the negotiating period was created. Free agents may negotiate and consider offers from July 1-7, but can't sign on the dotted line until the league and players association set the salary cap and luxury tax on July 8.


 
Posted on: July 1, 2009 7:18 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2009 2:20 am
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

You want buzz? How's Ron Artest playing on the same team with LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal?

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs -- and LeBron himself -- are recruiting Artest to form a new Big Three in Cleveland that would be entertaining, potentially combustible, and perhaps even really, really good. The possibilities are endless -- great quotes, controversies, Artest advocating for LeBron in the LeBron-Kobe debate. Maybe even a championship.

Artest has been fielding offers from several teams, but so far the most impressive has to be Cleveland's courtship, which included LeBron making an in-person pitch recently when both players were in Los Angeles for events. This could develop quickly; a person close to Artest indicated that the small forward was expecting to start sorting through offers as early as Wednesday night.

By joining the Rockets last season and not making any waves -- not to mention his mostly effective contributions in the playoffs -- Artest earned himself one more free-agent score. And the value won't necessarily be measured in dollars, but in the opportunity to win a championship. For that reason, and in order to repay the Rockets for taking a chance on him, Artest had been leaning toward returning to Houston. But the possibility that Yao Ming could miss the entire 2009-10 season has changed everything.

Artest made several conspicuous appearances at Lakers home games during the Finals, and L.A. could be a formidable competitor for Artest's services -- especially if the Lakers lose either Lamar Odom or Trevor Ariza, both unrestricted free agents.

The most the Cavs can offer is the mid-level exception of about $5.6 million, and Artest figures to do better elsewhere -- in terms of dollars but not opportunity. At various times during the past two years as he approached free agency, Artest repeatedly said he wasn't looking for one more pay day, but rather for the chance to win a championship. The opportunity has arrived.

Here's more free-agent buzz from conversations with executives, agents, and others in the know:

* After CBSSports.com reported early Wednesday that the Trail Blazers were aggressively pursuing Hedo Turkoglu, the free-agent forward will receive a visit from Portland coach Nate McMillan Wednesday night in Orlando. Turkoglu is expected to accept the team's invitation to tour Portland and the Blazers' facilities on Thursday. An offer -- believed to be a five-year deal in the $50 million range -- is expected to be extended at that time. As many as five teams have inquired about Turkoglu -- some with cap room, some without, according to agent Lon Babby. One of them is not the Detroit Pistons, who have focused their attention on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

UPDATE: The Raptors are debating whether to make a pre-emptive offer to Turkoglu that would top Portland's, but that would require renouncing the rights to Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino, and Anthony Parker. Another option is to keep those players and sign a mid-level free agent. If the Raptors decide to go for a bigger name, Turkoglu isn't the only one they're considering. They also have interest in Knicks restricted free agent David Lee.

* The Knicks rolled out the red carpet for Jason Kidd at Madison Square Garden Wednesday, but the Mavericks still have the advantage in their efforts to retain the future Hall of Fame point guard. A person familiar with the talks said there are strong indications that Mavs owner Mark Cuban is willing to offer Kidd a three-year deal, which is well beyond what the Knicks are prepared to offer.

* Suns free agent Grant Hill received an in-person pitch from Steve Kerr in Orlando after free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and has been invited to visit the Knicks next week. The Celtics, who are heavily recruiting Rasheed Wallace, also have expressed interest in Hill.

* If Trevor Ariza feels slighted that all the Lakers can offer him is the mid-level exception, it's not clear where he's going to do better than that on the open market. One rival executive believes the Lakers have prioritized Ariza over their other unrestricted free agent, Lamar Odom, and several sources believe they still have a chance to retain both. The Spurs have expressed interest in Odom, as well as Marcin Gortat (courted by the Rockets), and Antonio McDyess.



 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com