Marc Stein: The Knicks have made Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee available in advance of the Feb. 7 trade deadline in addition to Enes Kanter, league sources say. Full story forthcoming via @NYTSports
Hardaway Jr. has been inefficient this season while holding down a large burden on the offense. Despite his struggles, the Knicks need him to prop up their already below-average offense. Moving either Lee or Hardaway Jr. would get the Knicks the cap room they need, though trading Hardaway Jr. (who also has a 15 percent trade kicker) now could also make them uncompetitive way too often. Teams have asked the Knicks about Hardaway Jr. and Lee, according to league sources, but the Knicks have been adamant about not attaching assets to move them. Maybe a playoff team in need of scoring or wings will accede at some point and offer the Knicks a worthwhile return, or maybe the pressure of the trade deadline can make things move along.
Because Parker makes $20 million this year, and because the Bulls want to take back no players with contracts that stretch past this season, Parker would most likely have to be involved in a multi-team trade with one team under the cap. The Knicks and Pelicans have interest in Parker, according to league sources, but Chicago would not be willing to take back Courtney Lee from New York or Solomon Hill from New Orleans, making a three-team deal the only way Parker could wind up in either spot.
He's seeing his playing time slashed as coach David Fizdale focuses on developing the team's young players. Yet Lee is trying to remain positive. "You gotta stay professional," Lee said after the Knicks' morning shootaround Tuesday at Pepsi Center. "I’ve been in the league 11 years. Over those years from my rookie year on up I’ve had vets that’s been in this situation. I watched the ones that stayed positive and continued to work and stay ready."
There's no guarantee the Knicks will find a suitable deal, especially because of their reluctance to trade draft picks. So in the meantime, Lee is trying to make the best of his current situation. "Just gotta stay positive and ready," Lee said.
"I really feel for Courtney," Fizdale said. "He got hurt early on. We got the season jumpstarted. Really by the time that he’s gotten back I think it’s more important that I focus on the young guys right now. So unfortunately for him he never really got his body going at the level that we know he can play."
Hardaway is averaging 21 points, but his scoring efficiency is subpar and he’s being paid too much for the limited role he should be playing. Lee has missed 25 games with a neck injury and hasn’t looked himself when he’s been available. Neither player is large enough to defend bigger wings effectively. Contending teams may rather pass on both given the salary commitment. Front-office sources expect that the Knicks will have to attach an asset to dump Hardaway or Lee. The trouble will be finding a team willing to aid their cause.
The Post reported before training camp that Lee is fine with the role of a mentor with the Knicks, but his preference would be a trade to a contender. Lee denied he wants out, and right now trades are the furthest thing from his mind because he has to get back into genuine game shape with minutes at a premium.
Lee’s return naturally will double as a trade audition. Perhaps the most elegant way for the Knicks to clear a max salary spot for the summer of 2019 is moving Lee’s $12-plus-million-per-year contract that runs for another season after this one. In the meantime, the 33-year-old brings strong perimeter defense, a 40-percent 3-point shooting stroke and a been-there-before presence to the mix. “I’m just happy for him that he’s getting back to a place where he can play,” Fizdale said.
Ian Begley: Sixers GM Elton Brand says the club will be looking for shooting going forward and he will continue to evaluate the market given PHI's open roster spot. He says the Sixers have gotten tons of calls. Seems like Philadelphia could be a landing spot for Knicks veteran Courtney Lee.
They've been trying, sources say. With Lee on the books, the Knicks can carve out about $30 million in room depending on where they draft -- that's about $8 million short of Durant's max, and $3 million below the max for a player with between seven and nine years of experience. They would prefer not to sacrifice a second-round pick in shedding Lee's $12.7 million salary for 2019-20. That is going to be harder than you'd think, and maybe harder than it should be. New York needs to find a playoff team that values Lee's on-court contributions more than the cap space it would sacrifice to get him.
The Knicks are shopping Courtney Lee, who is amenable to being traded to a contender. The Knicks want to move Lee for extra 2019 cap space, and he would certainly be offered up in a Butler package if the Knicks could get him on the cheap. But management seemed ambivalent about Butler’s wish-list news.
Keith Pompey: The #Sixers are NOT interested in acquiring Courtney Lee from the Knicks contrary to a report, according to a league source.
Courtney Lee arrived a week and a half ago at the Knicks’ Tarrytown training center for voluntary workouts, gearing up for Monday’s start of training camp. The Knicks guard just doesn’t know how long he’ll be there. According to an NBA source, Lee’s preference is to be dealt to a playoff team or a contender. It’s an understandable wish formulated during an offseason spent in Orlando and Los Angeles as he saw the Knicks franchise’s youthful direction.
The feeling is mutual because of Lee’s age (32) and long-term contract. The Knicks want to ship Lee to open up more cap space for 2019. Lee has $12.2 million remaining on his deal for 2018-2019 and $12.7 in 2019-2020.
That started when they traded Carmelo Anthony before last season, and it continued when they drafted two high-ceiling prospects in the first round of the NBA Draft: Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson. They'll join Kristaps Porzingis (once he returns from injury) as the future of the Knicks franchise. One player who's apparently not part of that "future" could be Courtney Lee. In an Instagram post designed to get fans excited for the "Future of New York," the Knicks featured a mash-up of Porzingis, Knox, Robinson, Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Lance Thomas, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke. Noticeably absent is Lee, who led the Knicks in total minutes last season. Hmmm.
As Lee was scrolling through Instagram, he noticed the Knicks' post and decided to chime in, saying "there I go" accompanied by a crying laughing emoji. Apparently Lee is taking this as a sign that he's not long for New York, and that a trade could be in the works.
Lee will be 33 next season and owner of one of the least desirable contracts, expiring in 2020. The Knicks, sources indicate, will explore moving Lee as coach David Fizdale eyes a starting unit of Tim Hardaway Jr. at shooting guard and rookie Kevin Knox at small forward.
David Aldridge: Among the non-Kawhi bait players around the NBA who are available via trade, per league sources: Denver’s Wilson Chandler, New York’s Courtney Lee, Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore. And as @Marc Stein reported, the Raptors have let it be known there are no untouchables on their roster.
Their plan is to not sign anyone to long-term deals and to shed contracts that have more than one year remaining. That means Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah might not be Knicks much longer.
Lee’s contract expires in 2020. Indications from Knicks brass are they would like to get him off the books at some juncture and open even more cap space for 2019, when management believes it can make a big free-agent splash. Lee is having a career year but is 32. The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m., but indications are the Knicks feel there will be other chances to deal veterans such as Lee. “That’s part of the business,” Lee said of the possibility of being traded. “I think everybody that’s here wants to be here, including myself. I think everybody is ready to take that challenge. I can only speak for myself and the guys in here, man. I can’t speak for management.”
Ian Begley: Opposing executives say the Knicks continue to take calls on center Kyle O’Quinn and guard Courtney Lee. New York is also still trying to trade Joakim Noah as well.
As the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches, the Knicks may not be as active as advertised because they won’t take back a mediocre contract that seeps into the 2019-20 season. By the same token, moving Courtney Lee, whose pact runs to 2020, becomes that more appealing. However, the belief is the Knicks will have other opportunities on the Lee front — even if his trade value is decent as he puts up career-high scoring numbers.
Recently they are receiving more calls about the 32-year-old Lee, averaging a career-best 13.5 points. The Knicks won’t move him unless significant value comes back. Plus, his $11.7 million salary means the Knicks need to find a club with cap room such as the Jazz, or they would have to take back significant money. Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry are vehemently opposed to inheriting any more bad contracts.
With his two-way play Lee, who has made seven stops already in his 10-year career, is the sort of three-point shooting, defensive-minded wing that contender are seeking. And he knows it. “I’ve been in this league 10 years,” Lee said after the Knicks morning shoot around. “I’ve been traded a couple of times, so it’s nothing new. Only thing you can do is control what you can control, show up, be a professional, do your work, go hard, leave it all out on the court and whatever happens happens. “I understand a lot about this NBA man, it’s a business first and foremost. It comes with the territory. I definitely understand.”
Courtney Lee is one of the attractive players the Knicks could deal to a championship contender before the Feb. 8 deadline. He knows this. “If I get traded, I get traded,” Lee said on Tuesday morning at Knicks shootaround. “If I’m here, I’m here. I’m happy either way. I’m alive and I’m playing basketball and that’s what I love to do.”
Lee is considered among the most tradable Knicks if the team decides to makes some moves at the deadline but said he isn’t concerned about it. “Not at all,” Lee said. “Not at all. I’ve been in this league 10 years, been traded a couple times. It’s nothing new.”
The Knicks are searching for a veteran point guard to play in front of Frank Ntilikina and, outside of Anthony, the Knicks have also received interest in trade talks on Courtney Lee and Kyle O'Quinn, per sources.
The Knicks believe Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. can be effective together, sources confirm. So the club has no immediate plans to trade Lee, their incumbent shooting guard, despite the positional overlap with Hardaway Jr., whom they've signed to a 4-year, $71 million deal.
Courtney Lee would seem to be the odd man out if Hardaway comes in because they play the same position. But a league source said the Knicks aren’t looking to move Lee and that they plan to play him and Hardaway together. That could change, but the source said the Knicks want to have a mix of young players and veterans.
The Knicks have been in touch with Simmons but would probably need to trade Lee or O'Quinn to make a competitive offer for Simmons, one of the top young two-way players on the market. Earlier this week, Simmons was in active talks with two other teams. The Knicks probably need to make a move soon if they have serious interest in Simmons. Their recent contact with him would suggest they're at least open to that.
Alex Kennedy: The Knicks have considered moving Courtney Lee in order to free up cap space. If Lee is moved, NY will pursue significant FA point guards.
Nonetheless, while the Knicks primarily were focused on the Rose deal, they also discussed a potential Courtney Lee trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. Like all other 29 teams at the trade deadline, the Knicks had been seeking draft picks or players who fit their long-term vision for the team in any deal for Brandon Jennings, Kyle O’Quinn or Lee.
Ian Begley: The Clippers had recently shown interest in Knicks SG Courtney Lee but one team that had been in touch with the Knicks didn't get the impression that Lee would be moved. Another team in contact with NYK said the club is looking for a first-round pick - just like every other team - and had discussed packaging Kyle O'Quinn and Brandon Jennings together in a deal.
The Grizzlies shipped $542,714 cash to the Hornets as part of the Courtney Lee trade, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reveals.
John Hollinger: Hardest part of the business. Best of luck to @Courtney Lee in Charlotte after 2+ great years with the Griz: vine.co/v/O5aJUBgMAiE
David Baumann: Ex #Magic/Griz guard @Courtney Lee was putting up shots at @rollinscollege gym today when he learned he was traded. What he told me next.
David Baumann: Courtney Lee on finding out about trade from #Grizzlies to #Hornets: "Being in the NBA, you understand that having an expiring contract puts teams in a tough situation. It's either trade and get something back or possibly let that player walk. So I get it."
Rick Bonnell: Rich Cho said MKG's injury definitely was a factor in the decision to acquire Courtney Lee. Said it's Clifford's call whether he starts.
The Miami HEAT announced today that they have acquired guard Brian Roberts from the Charlotte Hornets in a three-team trade involving Chris Andersen. In exchange for Roberts, Miami will send Andersen and two conditional future second round picks to Memphis and the Grizzlies will send Courtney Lee to the Hornets in exchange for PJ Hairston and two future second round picks.
Mario Chalmers: I hate to see my homie c Lee go. But welcome my homie my championship patna the one and only BIRDMAN. The package deal is back together again. Watch out
Sam Amick: Charlotte's 2nd-rounders that go to Griz in Mem-Miami 3-way, I'm told, are theirs from 2018 & Brooklyn 2019 2nd. @Adrian Wojnarowski had deal.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Miami will send Chris Andersen to Memphis in deal too, sources tell @The Vertical
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Miami will send two future second-round picks to Memphis as part of 3-team deal, although one is heavily protected.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Memphis is trading Courtney Lee to Charlotte, sources tell @The Vertical
Rick Bonnell: Source confirms @Charlotte Hornets are acquiring Courtney Lee from Grizzlies. First reported by @Adrian Wojnarowski
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: As part of Lee deal, Charlotte sending Brian Roberts, PJ Hairston and two 2nds to Memphis.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Charlotte's Brian Roberts will move to Miami as part of three-team deal with Charlotte and Memphis, sources tell @The Vertical
Sam Amick: Video on Kevin Martin situation at @USATODAYsports: Unclear where Minny SG will wind up, but he's back on the floor. As I mention in the video, the T-Wolves have been trying to no avail for a Martin-Courtney Lee swap with Memphis. Martin's $7.3 million player option (& lack of clarity about what he'll do with it) is an issue for Griz & others. usat.ly/1Z8BRmK
September 22, 2021 | 11:13 pm EDT Update
Gersson Rosas’ dismissal just days before the Minnesota Timberwolves opened training camp is stunning on its face, a change at the top of basketball operations as the team begins a critical season and is in discussions to try to trade for a disgruntled star to bolster its chances.
It is also the culmination of months of evaluation by ownership and the franchise’s high-ranking officials about the state of Rosas’ leadership and the direction of the franchise under his watch. Ownership has listened to a vocal contingent of staffers express concern about the way Rosas conducted his business, sources told The Athletic, and finally came to the conclusion that they could not wait any longer to address the situation.
Rosas’ reign was described as dysfunctional, with tension rippling through the front office, according to some sources. Outside of it, rival team executives and agents would complain about how Rosas treated relationships and negotiations. The complaints reached as high as the ownership level over the last several weeks, lending a perception of inevitability to the end of Rosas’ tenure.
Sources said Taylor made the 90-minute drive from Mankato to team headquarters in Minneapolis to take part in the meeting with Rosas personally on Wednesday, notable for an owner who has in the past sometimes left moves like this to those who work underneath him. Text messages were left by The Athletic for Rosas seeking comment that have not yet been returned. The Athletic also reached out to Taylor for further comment.
The Timberwolves named executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta as their new overseer of basketball operations, making him the first person of Indian origin to run a franchise’s basketball operations. Minnesota is expected to have a full search process, but team officials are fond of Gupta and will provide him a chance in the No. 1 role, sources said.
Prior to the announcement, The Athletic had spent the last several weeks investigating the working environment under Rosas and interviewed numerous sources on the current staff about the situation after learning of mounting discontent. Some said Rosas worked his staff long hours without giving much input into the decision-making process. Others took issue with decisions made on personnel moves and trades, including the light protections on a first-round draft pick that landed them D’Angelo Russell from Golden State, Rosas’ signature move.
Some of the issues were exacerbated this summer when Rosas and Gupta butted heads over Rosas’ decision to block Gupta from making a lateral move to the Houston Rockets with increased pay, sources said. Rosas said the timing of the request, coming right before the draft and free agency, made it impossible for the Timberwolves to let someone with as much proprietary knowledge of the team’s plans go to a competitor. The tension between Rosas and Gupta only grew later in August when Rosas banished Gupta from the team’s offices and granted him permission to seek employment elsewhere, according to sources. The issue was resolved in early September after ownership got involved and Gupta decided to stay.
One person who said he had no qualms with how Rosas led and thought there was a collaborative environment did say that the overall vibe in the front office was tense. Some of that, he believed, was due to the disenchantment of other members of the staff, but he also believed the pandemic played a role. “It is not a root cause, but it’s an accelerant,” the source said in August just before the staff left for vacation. “It’s not the spark that lit the flame, but it’s something that makes the flame burn hotter. We haven’t had a day off in basically two years.”