Friday, July 9, 2010

Lee sign and trade complete

By now you are probably aware that LeBron James will be playing with Miami Heat. A big disappointment for all suitors who were hoping to land LeBron, however the Knicks have already exectured their Plan B.

LeBron passing on the Knicks last night meant that the Lee sign and trade to Golden State would be executed and it has. It is now confirmed by David Lee's agent Mark Bartelstein, that Lee will play with the Golden State Warriors next year in exchange for Anthony Randolphy, Rony Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike.

Not a bad pickup for the Knicks that will give them some size, and cheap expiring contracts that will give them enough cap space to make a run at Carmelo in 2011.

The best pickup in this transaction has to be Anthony Randolph. Randolph, only 20 years old, is 6-10, long, and athletic. He runs great in the transition, finishes, cleans up boards, and has a nice mid range jump shot from 18 out. The upside could be huge. He definitely needs to bulk up a bit but has the potential to be Marcus Camby type of impact player. He is coming off a bad ankle sprain that sidelined him for the second half of the season. Randolph is not a huge guy, so don't expect him to bang like a Kendrick Perkins. However he is long. He averaged 1.6 blocks last year and should be able to challenge and alter shots in the middle.

Azukuike, a 26 year old SF, is returning from a knee injury that sidelined for most of the 09-10 season. He underwent surgery to repair his right knee in May.

Now how will the new Warrior trio fit in with Knicks current roster. Right now, the starting 5 is expected to be Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, Galo, Amar'e, and most likely Randolph. Amar'e is obviously option 1 on offense. Having played with D'antoni for several seasons, the pick and roll will be a viable part of the offense. Randolph should fit well as a guy who could feast on cheap dump off passes and cleaning up the boards. He will runs extremely well in transition and could even handle the ball to start a fast break - major upside in D'antoni's schemes. Not only that, but with Amar'e drawing double teams in the post, and Galo attracting guys on the perimeter, it should open up Randolph's game for 10-15 ft open jumpers.

Kelenna Azubuike is a 6-5 SF. Somewhat undersized for a SF, this guy plays big and with a lot of heart. Think Quentin Richardson - he get's to the rim, solid finisher, and has a decent shot from the outside (45% 3PT FG% in 08-09). He will be a decent option off the bench who could bring some scoring and some hard-nosed defense.

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