I spent a decent portion of the Blogs With Balls conference last night meeting and talking to Shoals about anything and everything. The topic of Knick free agency came up, and through some combination of FD voodoo and my own excitement, I spoke more than a little heresy about David Lee. Instead of hiding it from you all, I figured I'd air out my qualms so I can be brought back to my senses. And by senses I mean blind Lee worship.
Qualm: There's a distinct possibility that, for all his charm, David Lee is merely a charter member of the Landry-Maxiell-Scola-etc. fraternity and has a totally replicable skillset. (I didn't include Millsap because I think he's getting this same scrutiny as a new contract looms.) He rebounds like a champ and wills his way to double-digit points nightly, but may not destined to anchor any part of an offense or draw regular double teams. Maybe he's too short or too terrestrial. Maybe his collar's just too blue. Oh, and he doesn't play a lick of defense. Is that worth 10 million dollars?
Counter-qualm: If Lee does fit a prototype, he is, at the very least, Scola-Bros. 2.0. There's no question that he wears the team's hard hat, but there are certain qualities that suggest a more polished offensive beast in the making. Lee's truly ambidextrous. He's got handles. He's beginning to take and make jumpers with confidence (.352 FG% on jumpers is a work in progress, but not bad. Also, as far as I know I can make that translation between eFG% and FG% because Lee doesn't attempt threes. I think). He also gets up higher than most and has a flair to his finishing. Sure, he doesn't play a lick of defense, but this is D'Antoniball, y'all. Once I get in this train of thought, I'm ready to sign Lee through 2020 and just pre-emptively retire the number 42 in his honor.
(Sidenote: Is Lee's game Euro? Discuss. And I don't mean this kind of Euro. I'm thinking he's secretly Spanish/Brazilian.
Qualx* Qualm: David Lee would be a tremendous asset to a contending team, but might not be worth the investment for those rebuilding. This could be said for Nate as well. This one hinges quite a bit on the previous doubts, and it won't leave me alone. As far as I know, rebuilding is usually accomplished by setting a foundation and filling in the cracks, not building a landing pad for a free agent star. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but it all seems sort of backwards, especially when you're tying up funds that might be needed to employ said free agent star.
Counter-qualm: Pretty much the same as before. Maybe Lee is on his way from role player to star. I don't know.
This has been tearing me apart (!) since the topic arose, and even moreso since I had Shoals in my ear. Pause. Talk some sense in the comments.
*If you get this reference, you and I would probably get along.