Tagged: Portland

Lee Rumors Rampant

The David Lee trade rumors that have been swirling around turned into a veritable avalanche of speculation today coming from all corners of the mainstream media and blogosphere. The most important thing to bear in mind right now as we sift through all the bits and pieces of leaked information is that the sources very often have their own agendas. That means that sometimes when we read an article or see a quote about a trade rumor, it’s on us to put it in proper context and decide whether it’s good information or misinformation. Because sometimes reporters end up serving as dupes for teams that strategically leak information in their efforts to make the best possible deal. Basically, if something sounds really stupid, it probably isn’t true.

In my estimation, the best information passed on by anyone today came from Tommy Dee over at KnicksBlog. Tommy’s sources with the Blazers tell him that the team wants David Lee but won’t make a deal for him that includes Travis Outlaw. That’s because the Blazers are saving Outlaw for a trade that gets them an upgrade over Steve Blake at point guard. As KnicksBlog explains, this is why any trade with Portland will probably have to be a 3-way deal.

I’ve scoured the league looking for teams with point guard depth that might be interested in getting involved in a 3-way trade. Far and away the best fit looks to be the Charlotte Bobcats and Ray Felton. Felton appears to be readily available, is an upgrade over Blake and his deal expires at the end of the year. A three way deal built around Lee, Outlaw, Felton and Bayless is very doable under the cap.

But that’s not all. For better or worse, there was loads of speculation last month following the Jason Richardson for Raja Bell and Boris Diaw trade that one or both of Bell and Diaw might ultimately be rerouted to the Knicks before the deadline. So, if these teams were so inclined, things could come together from a couple of different angles.

Now, take this with a grain of salt because I’m just spitballin’ here (I should note that Dee thinks any trade Portland makes will be on the smaller side) but this is just one example of what a trade that incorporates all these pieces could look like:

Bobcats get Travis Outlaw, Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries; Blazers get Raymond Felton and David Lee; Knicks get Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Jerryd Bayless.

From where I’m sitting, it doesn’t look altogether ridiculous.

Curry and Lee Together? Works for Blazers, Not for Knicks

Dan’s right that I can see why the scenario Berman discussed in today’s Post would be appealing to Portland. The Blazers have a ton of cap room and including Curry in the deal would devalue Lee. By that I mean, Portland would argue to the Knicks that they shouldn’t have to give up as much talent to get Lee  as they would if they weren’t taking on Curry’s contract as well.

Not only that, but Curry is actually a pretty decent fit on their team (if he ever got healthy enough to contribute). Pryzbilla and Oden have redundant skills. Curry would provide Oden a backup that can score down low in limited minutes giving the Blazers yet another offensive dimension. And he compliments both Lee’s and Aldridge’s skill sets pretty well so Portland’s roster would be even more versatile.

Here’s how the trade might look: Portland gets David Lee and Eddy Curry; Knicks get Joel Pryzbilla, Channing Frye, and Jerryd Bayless.

I have two issues with this deal:

  1. As I said, I think it devalues David Lee. While I can see the merit from Portland’s perspective, I’d prefer to see the Knicks extract every ounce of value they can from Lee and dump Curry later in a separate deal for cap space.
  2. It doesn’t offer much cap relief. If we’re going to put Curry in a trade with Lee, the deal should eliminate the value of Curry’s contract from the books completely in 2010. Since Pryzbilla’s contract runs past 2010, this trade only eliminates about a one-third of Curry’s contract from the 2010 books. What’s more, Pryzbilla, while a capable rebounder and defender, is an otherwise terrible fit in the Knicks’ system.

All in all, I don’t like this trade and I think the Knicks and Blazers will have to include a third team to make something happen.