Shortly after LeBron James announced his decision to bolt to South Beach, it appears as if another domino in the free agent frenzy has fallen.
According to ESPN.com, the New York Knicks have officially executed a sign-and-trade which sends David Lee to the Golden State Warriors. Lee's contract is reportedly worth $80M over six years. In return, the Knicks will receive Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf, and Kelenna Azubuike.
Heading into the free agency sweepstakes, Lee was considered amongst the top players available. Last season, he posted a career high 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds.
Several teams all across the league including the Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New Jersey Nets have made active efforts to acquire the All-Star forward over the past few days.
Luckily for the Warriors
, they end up the ultimate prize-winners in what I believe to be a relatively fair deal for both sides.
Despite being one of the league's top offenses, the Warriors have lacked a dominant low-post presence for years. In addition, they were the worst rebounding team in the NBA
last year. Lee's services should definitely help to fix that, along with many of their other pressing issues.
Meanwhile, instead of allowing Lee to leave them high and dry, the Knicks add three solid young players to their roster. Randolph, the most talented of the three, is an athletic forward with immense potential who will fit very nicely alongside Amar'é Stoudemire. Moreover, Azubuike is a capable scorer while Turiaf should provide always-appreciated high energy off the bench.
More importantly for them, all three have contracts that will expire at the end of the 2010-2011 season. This will, once again, make them major players in next year's free agent class which is headlined by top-flight players such as Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker.
Overall, I'm certainly excited about what this deal offers for both teams. I'm confident that they will all fit in very nicely in their new situations and I'm intrigued to see what impact they have. Hopefully, this will be exactly what both teams need in order to elevate their franchises to the next level.