Lee will be a restricted free agent this summer after the Knicks were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension before the start of the season. It is believed that Lee, who will make $1.7 million this season, was seeking about $10 million per season in a new deal.David Lee wants $10 million a year for his services, at least that is what his agent is trying to get him. That contract demand is tough. I don't know if I would give him that contract. Lee is a good player, but he is a role player. He can't defend even though he tries his hardest to defend. He has a good 15 footer, but Lee is pretty much a hustle player who rebound the basketball with the best of them. If I'm the Knicks, I wouldn't pay Lee that much money. He is simply not worth it. Maybe the Knicks and Lee's agent can meet somewhere in the middle.
With the focus on having salary-cap space for 2010, Donnie Walsh wasn't inclined to give out lavish raises off a 23-win team. But after watching Lee for almost half a season, Walsh has told confidants that he has changed his mind about Lee.
"Unless someone blows them away with a trade," one source said, "[Lee] was told the preference is to sign him to a long-term extension."
One way the Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - can fit Lee into the budget and still have potentially more than $40 million in salary-cap space for the summer of 2010 is to trade Eddy Curry, who will make $11.2 million in 2010-11. Of course, Walsh also has to make a decision on Nate Robinson, the team's other restricted free agent this summer.
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