David Lee has always been a productive energy player but he's flourished in Mike D'Antoni's system, leading the league in double-doubles while posting career numbers across the board. But does that mean he's a permanent piece of New York's future?
Maybe not. According to HOOPSWORLD's Travis Heath, the Knicks not only listened to offers for him at the trade deadline but also nearly dealt him to the Nuggets. In fact, the potential trade was so close to being consummated that several members of the Nuggets actually spoke to him about it before the Knicks played the Nuggets in Denver on Tuesday.
"We'll see what happens this summer, but a couple of their players and other people said that to me tonight," Lee admitted. " And they said that the last time they played in New York, that they tried (to consummate a trade). You know, the NBA's a business. I love it in New York and hopefully I'll be there a long time, but you never know what's going to happen."
Why would the Knicks want to move such a productive player? Perhaps because he's a restricted free agent this summer and they're nervous about spending what it might take to keep him on the team while saving enough room for the Summer of LeBron in 2010.
In any case, don't be surprised if his name is included in more rumors this summer -- despite the economy, Lee should have no shortage of suitors, especially if the Knicks are willing to play ball with a sign-and-trade.
(Whomever misses out on Lee this summer might want to take a hard look at Chris Andersen, Denver's athletic big man who's rebounding at nearly the same clip -- at least on a per-minute basis -- and ranks second in league in blocks despite playing fewer than 20 minutes a game.)