For whatever reason, Danilo Gallinari's arrival in New York has pushed David Lee into the spotlight, with many media convinced that there's room for only one hunky white teenybopper sensation in New York. Lee might very well relinquish that title to a man whose youth, foreign accent, and schoolboy charm give him a decided advantage.
What, then, of Lee? Talk of Lee's departure draws from his contract, which has includes an option next year, as well as rumors of Mike D'Antoni's belief that the blue collar power forward won't fit his offense. Surely, some other city is in need of this big man's tenacious rebounding, budding offensive game, and affinity for the lotions. The discussion is raging at Knickerblogger over this rumor, floated by Frank Isola, of a deal involving Lee and Charlotte's Raymond Felton. There's also talk of picking up one of Memphis's excess point guards. This is pure rumor, but if the Knicks are really looking to deal Lee, what about looking to the future? If the goal is really to get under the cap, possibly to lure LeBron James or some other big name, why not stockpile some picks and address needs through upcoming drafts, all while getting younger and limiting money spent? New York could use a pure point guard and some low-post defense, and guys like Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio, and Hasheem Thabeet are expected in the draft in the next year or two. This probably contradicts things I said before the draft, but Walsh decided to pick a 19 year-old Italian who's considered more of a project than a "win now" type guy. He could follow through by trading Lee, if he is indeed to be traded, for picks and/or expiring contracts, while letting Marbury's deal expire and allowing guys like Robinson, Crawford, and Gallinari spin a little in D'Antoni's system. Then raid the draft and get back to work. Another losing season would suck, but it's pretty much bound to happen anyway, and these things take time.
All that said, I can understand the desire to get competitive quickly and, as solanumbrella says, that a guy like Felton might work in the long run. I just think that the Gallinari pick is a sure rebuilding move, and one long-term move begets another. If we're really ready to let New York's reigning shirtless white sensation go, leaving in his wake scores of heartbroken lotion-wielding females, then I'd like to get some hope in return. I'm interested to hear your thoughts in the comments.