While Charlotte GM Rod Higgins has denied Thursday’s selection of D.J. Augustin at no. 9 overall is a precursor to shipping Raymond Felton to New York, that David Lee is one of the Knicks’ only coveted assets — outside of a certain self-proclaimed no. 1 point guard in the NBA’s expiring contract — is hard to dispute. The Bergen Record’s Steve Adamek elaborates :
The potential departure of Lee, however, could yield the point guard general manager Donnie Walsh declined to draft to potentially replace Stephon Marbury, albeit a stopgap one, such as Portland™s Steve Blake, Seattle™s Luke Ridnour or one from among Memphis™ gaggle of guards.
œI think there are other ways to solve the problem if we have to, a guarded Walsh said Friday when asked about not drafting a point instead of Danilo Gallinari
œI know there are conversations going on, Lee™s agent Mark Bartelstein told The Record.
Given his druthers, and his salary-cap reduction plan for the summer of 2010, Walsh would rather unload Zach Randolph and the three years and $48 million still left on his contract to alleviate what the Knicks™ president called a œsurvival of the fittest logjam for minutes up front that Gallinari™s arrival creates.
But, Lee, a free agent next summer if he doesn™t get a contract extension before the start of next season, is far more enticing trade bait. œA lot of people want to get David Lee, Bartelstein said.
Adamek reports Gallinari will be throwing out the first pitch at this afternoon’s Yankees/Mets game. Unlike Pedro Martinez, it’s nice to learn Gallinari has no qualms about taking the mound during the day,