Dear NBA GM's: David Lee Belongs Near the Top of Your Summer Big Boards
Dear NBA GM's,
I'm not here to tell you that David Lee is better than Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire, or even Carlos Boozer, because he's not.
I'm not trying to tell you that David Lee deserves a maximum contract this summer, because he does not.
However, I am here to tell you one thing: If you do sign David Lee this summer, you won't regret it.
Lee has seen a lot in his first five years in the league:
Isiah Thomas' demolition of a once proud franchise.
Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry making equally convincing pleas for the NBA's most selfish player.
A new set of teammates almost yearly on the never ending fire sale that has been the New York Knicks these last five years.
And three different coaches, with three very different philosophies.
Through all that, most players would have moaned and groaned their way out of town, not given 100 percent, or had a whole lot to tell the media.
But David Lee was not most players.
For five embarrassing, horrible, tough seasons Lee went in night in and night out and he gave it his all, which was often pretty damn good.
He continued to practice his game, and he improved by leaps and bounds each and every season.
In 2008 he put up 18 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Last season he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. Some would argue it was because he played on a team with nearly no other weapons and an up-tempo system, but he averaged 20-and-10, which is extremely impressive under any circumstances.
And when it was finally time for him to become a free agent, and he could get out of the pigsty that was the New York Knicks franchise, nobody wanted him?
Lee has his fair share of weaknesses (his defense), but as he's proven in the past, he's always willing to work hard to achieve his goals.
If he can improve on the recent New York Knicks teams then he can improve anywhere.
At 6' 9", Lee isn't your ideal center, but he plays well above his height.
I could go on for days explaining the benefits Lee's talents would be to your team, but that's not his separating quality.
David Lee separates himself from a crowded pact of somewhat troublesome 2010 free agent bigmen in one way: His attitude.
However, I've never met a person who has a bad thing to say about David Lee.
And there haven't been many New York Knicks' players who you can say that about in this century as a whole.
Donnie Walsh, John Paxson, Randy Pfund, Elgin Baylor, Kiki Vandeweghe there's loads of talent out there this summer, which is why you need a greater basis to evaluate talented players.
I promise you that if you sign David Lee this summer you will get one of the NBA's most dedicated, underrated, unselfish, willing-to-learn players.
If you want him to play second or even third-fiddle to your already talented team, he'll do it without a single complaint, and he'll exceed your wildest expectations.
If you want him to improve his defense and mid-range jumper, he will be in that gym every single day of the week shooting from the top of the key, and turning back shots.
When the dust clears from free agency and the 2011 NBA season is ready to start, David Lee will be wearing a jersey somewhere.
Make it your team, and you won't be disappointed.
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