Position: Power Forward/Center
Key 2009-10 Stats: 20.2 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 54.5 FG%, 81.2 FT%
What To Like About David Lee: Lee is like Rick Ross – everyday he’s hustlin’, everyday he’s hustlin’… Lee has an obvious motor and desire to rebound, which is obvious when looking at his rebounding numbers throughout his career. However, he recently transcended the label of “hustle” guy by averaging 16 PPG in 2008-09 and 20.2 PPG this past season. Yes, Lee was playing in a Mike D’Antoni offense, but you don’t score 20 a night by accident. Plus, he legitimately added a jumper into his offensive repertoire. Lee is a career 55.7% shooter from the field and can take advantage at the charity stripe (77.4%). He should complement Brook Lopez well, working in the high post, moving without the ball, and getting in position for the offensive rebound. Lee will not be demanding the ball on offense, but will convert at an excellent rate when the opportunity arises and keep defenses on their toes. He’s the consummate team player and will be a great locker room guy.
What Not to Like About David Lee: Lee’s numbers are a bit inflated because of the aforementioned D’Antoni offense, but he should still average double-digit points easily should he join the Nets. While I’m not too worried about it, it’s been awhile since Lee had to play the hard defense Avery Johnson will demand, so he’ll need to adjust. Lee seems like a laid-back kind of guy, but will probably need to up the intensity for Johnson’s liking. However, these aren’t big concerns for me as Lee seems coachable, is still young, and would love to stick it in the Knicks’ face.
Around The Web On Lee: Tommy Beer of Hoopsworld wrote, “David Lee has been disproving doubters his entire NBA career… Clearly, Lee has elevated his status from crowd-favorite and useful bench contributor to legitimate impact player on the NBA level.”
The Bottom Line From This Blogger: I know that Lee isn’t one of the “sexier” names out there and many Nets fans want Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire (please, basketball gods, no), and Carlos Boozer, but Lee is not a bad fallback, especially if he agrees to take less than the maximum. He’s already a NYC favorite, his jersey outselling all other Knicks and Nets jerseys, and complements Lopez is a lot of ways.