Monday, July 27, 2009

The Knicks Options With Lee and Robinson

The New York Knicks have two free agents they are looking to re-sign this summer. Nate Robinson and David Lee. They are both pretty young players, on a team in the rebuilding process. Question is what can they do with each player?

Nate Robinson

It is being reported that Robinson will receive a one year, $5 million deal. Because that would put him off the books for 2010 and allow for more cap flexibility, I can't argue that.

Mainly because Robinson has so many questions about the way he fits. Can he commit at all on defense? Couldn't you do better with Ramon Sessions? Do we want that kind of cockiness on our team? These are the questions surrounding Robinson.

Those questions aside, he can score the ball and is very athletic. He can also shoot from the perimeter. He does fit most of the ingredients for what the Knicks want.

But, I want to see him prove himself in all facets of the game. He really needs to improve that sporadic behavior. If he does, I wouldn't if mind the Knicks re-signed him next summer.

David Lee

Reports have been flying around that Lee is frustrated with his negotiations with the Knicks. I'd assume they're true, but the Knicks need to really consider what they're doing with him. I feel like they must be trying to get him much cheaper than his camp thinks he's worth. The rumor is he wants $10 million a year. I don't know if he's quite there yet.

But, because he's a 6-9, ambidextrous double-double machine, I'd try to get a little closer to his requests. Maybe they sign him to a deal that gives him $8.5 or $9 million this coming season, but then, once next season rolls around, meets his number or $10 million.

They could also give him a one year deal, like Robinson is reportedly getting. I'm not as crazy about that with Lee. There's a level of trust he's got with the Knicks organization and if he's not getting close to what he wants this summer, he'll be able to bolt to a better team next summer. He's got all-star caliber talent, so I don't know if it's safe to risk losing him two summers in a row.

Next summer is also scarier because of the amount of money that will be out there. It will be the big free agent market of 2010. LeBron, Wade, Bosh and plenty of others will be in the mix. Put simply, that market will be a lot bigger than this summers market. Much more money will be available, even if the cap is lowered again.

I would just want to make sure Lee is happy with any deal they reach. His happiness is going to be a factor in his decision to stay with the Knicks. It's about making your employees happy, anyway.

No matter what happens this summer, as I've said before, I trust Donnie Walsh's rebuilding plans. He knows how to build a winner. The Knicks will be a winner with Donnie Walsh at the helm.