Lee comes to Twin Cities and has a "great visit", Big Al trade rumors and more
When Stoudemire becomes official, it would end the five-year era of David Lee, but set up a possibility of a sign-and-trade to add another piece. There's been rumors of a three-way trade talk between Golden State, Minnesota and the Knicks where Lee winds up with the Timberwolves, Monta Ellis comes to the Knicks and Al Jefferson goes to Golden State. Lee visited Minnesota yesterday and it has only $7 million in cap room, meaning he'd want a sign-and-trade.
Warriors are not interested in Al Jefferson, multiple sources told me
From Marc Stein/ESPN:
Sources say that the Mavericks have identified Minnesota's Al Jefferson and Charlotte's Tyson Chandler as potential trade options, but those are secondary targets given Nowitzki's need for someone on the wings who can consistently occupy defenses, create his own offense and open things up for him.
Unrestricted free agent David Lee met Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, toured Target Center as well as some of Minneapolis' lakes and suburbs and attended a few innings of the Twins-Tampa Bay game during a 10-hour visit to Minnesota on Saturday.
And guess what?
"Great visit," Lee said. "Beautiful city. Really nice people."
Lee -- a 6-9 power forward who has played his first five NBA seasons with the New York Knicks -- arrived to visit with Taylor, Wolves basketball boss David Kahn and coach Kurt Rambis two days after Memphis restricted free agent Rudy Gay was scheduled to arrive.
I asked why he visited a team that already has Al Jefferson and Kevin Love on the roster and probably will have to make a move to get enough money to sign him.
"That's not something really for me to worry about," he said. "I'm just getting to know teams and I had a great visit here today.. There are a bunch of different factors you have to weigh. It's something we'll have to figure out in the next 48 to 72 hours here."
Mark Bartelstein said his client "had a great visit" and was "really impressed" by the pitch put on by team president David Kahn, coach Kurt Rambis and the rest of the Timberwolves.
"You have to give David Kahn and Kurt a tremendous amount of credit," Bartelstein said. "They had an impressive proposal and really showed a lot of enthusiasm."
Lee spent about nine hours in the Twin Cities, catching some of the Rays-Twins game with Kahn and Rambis before grabbing an evening flight home and Bartelstein said the two would talk things over. He declined to say if the Timberwolves made an offer.
From the Timberwolves twitter account:
"We enjoyed getting to know David & providing him an opportunity to hear our vision for our team & his potential role with us" Kahn
"This is the first step in the process & we will be in contact w/ his representatives later this week" Kahn on Lee
Bartelstein does not represent any of the stars in this free-agent class, but he does represent David Lee, one of the most coveted players in the next tier.
Lee has met with Minnesota, Chicago and Miami, has spoken with the Nets and remains on the radar of the Knicks, his team for the last five seasons. Of that group, only the Timberwolves can offer a contract now.
"Chicago, Miami and New Jersey, they’re kind of frozen until LeBron decides what he’s doing," Bartelstein said.
From Susan Bible/Hoopsworld: Biggest Surprises So Far
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES, i.e., DARKO MILICIC/NIKOLA PEKOVIC - Say your goodbyes to Al Jefferson. The Timberwolves and Milicic reached a four-year deal worth around $20 million. What a huge turn-around given Milicic's indication just a few months ago that he had enough of the NBA and was headed back to Europe. After seven years in the league, Milicic's career averages of 5.6 points per game, 4.1 rebounds at 17.5 minutes aren't exactly stellar, but the Wolves seem to believe in him. For NBA-untested 6'11" Pekovic, the team agreed to a $13 million, four-year deal. Both of these deals now leave the team with less than $5 million in cap space.
From ProBasketballTalk: Why on earth is Minnesota meeting with David Lee?
Sources in Minnesota said today's meeting with David Lee went very well and that he is planning to give them a decision on Monday. It seems the Wolves have a deal in place that could off load enough salary for the team to tender a real contract to Lee on July 8th without a sign-and-trade. Lee has met with almost all of the salary cap teams and is said to have several options to consider this weekend.