Knicks' Lee likes appeal of Nets
Nets center Brook Lopez really likes the idea of someday playing alongside current Knick David Lee.
And unlike some impending free agents who view the Nets as less
desirable than waterboarding, Lee likes the Nets’ potential more than
their 7-55 record.
"The Nets are an interesting team," said Lee, sounding more like Phoenix’s Amar’e Stoudemire and Memphis’ Rudy Gay who claimed they would not be scared off by the Nets’ hideous record. "They’re a clear example of a team whose talent level doesn’t reflect the record.
"If statistics work out, they get the No. 1 pick," Lee said, "They have a great center in Lopez, an All-Star point guard, Devin Harris, great athleticism with wings Chris Douglas-Roberts and Terrence Williams. They could have a big turnaround year next year if they get a good free agent and the No. 1 draft pick. It’s going to be interesting which direction they go."
That direction could lead to Lee as one of the second-tier types the Nets could target with their $23.3 million cap space. Another is Gay who, like Lee, should do very well after the top shelf empties of the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade types.
The Nets see Gay tonight when they start a four-game road trip in Memphis, a trip where they will be without Yi Jianlian. He stayed behind with a sprained left ankle suffered in Saturday’s 113-93 rout of the Knicks.
As a restricted free agent, Lee signed a $7 million one-year deal last summer with the Knicks. The Nets currently start Yi at power forward. While he gets rebound numbers (7.0), he’s not the walking double-double Lee is and lacks his toughness.
"It would be great," Lopez said of possibly teaming with Lee, "a guy who loves to crash the offensive glass for so many extra possessions. Then with Yi, if you had the three of us playing together, it would be a great situation."
Now the trick is to get a guy like Lee, who has nothing decided. The Knicks have the most cap space, nearly $32 million, but two max guys would eliminate Lee from their plans. So the Brooklyn-bound Nets might appeal to Lee, who could shed his center position and play the four next to a legit 7-footer.