UPDATE: Loyal Knicks-FanBlogger Slumdogballer posted a rumor that he had heard from a contact at the Garden in the comments a little while ago:
I think there might be something more to this then just Chicago being interested in David Lee.
I think a deal like this is being cooked up:
D Lee to Chicago
Hinrich to Portland
Bayless/pick to NY
Well, apparently Alan Hahn is now hearing the things as Slumdog. Big time hat tip for having the scoop and posting it here.
Hahn’s latest post covers the Bulls rumors and the latest on Ramon Sessions. It’s must read stuff.
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Marc Stein and Alan Hahn are both reporting that the Knicks have begun the process of reviewing proposals for sign-and-trades involving David Lee. Stein had this to say:
Details remain scarce, but David Lee’s name is finally starting to come up again more often now that pretty much all the top unrestricted free agents apart from Odom and Andre Miller have been signed. With summer league ball behind us, the free-agent focus starts to shift to restricted free agents like Lee.
The problem? Unless Portland uses its cap space to make him an offer, Lee will be relying on the Knicks to cooperate in a sign-and-trade arrangement. And it’s believed that New York is determined to retain Lee and Nate Robinson on one-year deals that preserve full Bird rights for both players without obligating the Knicks to slice into their projected salary-cap space for 2010 free agency.
But one well-placed insider volunteered this tip when it comes to Lee’s situation: “Keep your eye on Chicago.”
Hahn chimed in on his twitter page:
David Lee situation still looms for Knix. Teams lining up in S&Ts. @STEIN_LINE_HQ sez da Bulls are in the mix. Will have more on this later.
I think it’s safe to say that any deal with Chicago would almost certainly involve Ty Thomas coming back to the Knicks. If DW was somehow able to also pawn off Jeffries or Curry on the Bulls in exchange for an expiring, the trade would be a huge win. And the cap savings for 2010 could conceivably open the door for the Knicks to make a multi-year offer to Sessions or some other free agent PG.
(By the way, what is it with the Knicks and the Bulls? There’s a whole mess of teams in the NBA, but it seems like these two only ever want to trade with each other. When Isiah was here you could write it off as part of his Chicago thing, but now he’s gone and yet the attraction persists. Strange…)
That said, Stein also reported in his column, as David Aldridge did yesterday, that his sources are telling him that the Knicks are no longer interested in Sessions:
It’s starting to look as though Milwaukee restricted free agent Ramon Sessions might have to settle for an offer that does not start at the full midlevel exception price of $5.9 million, with sources insisting that the Knicks are no longer chasing Sessions and that Oklahoma City is reluctant to use any of its salary-cap space to pursue the point guard.
The Clippers remain highly interested in Sessions. There are persistent rumblings that they prefer him to Allen Iverson in every category apart from box-office appeal. The Bucks, meanwhile, remain prepared to match offers on Sessions … to a point.
I’m hoping Stein has bad information here because I think Sessions would be a really nice addition to the young core the team seems to be building.