Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Courtney Lee is set to become an unrestricted free agent Friday, and can benefit any organization as an offensive spark plug.
Knicks Looking To Add Lee To Backcourt – June 30
Should Noah sign with the Knicks, two of their biggest holes would’ve been filled very early in the summer, and now it’s been reported by Marc Stein and Ian Begley of ESPN that Courtney Lee (and Eric Gordon) has generated a lot of interest from New York.
While gaining interest from the Knicks, many other teams will also pursue Lee in free agency, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
Kennedy also cited Lee’s reputation of being an outstanding person off the court, in the locker room, specifically. While he may not be a leader per say, both he and Noah would bring energy into an organization that looked so melancholy during their collapse in the second half of last season.
The former first-round pick played in 79 total games last year. Lee spent 51 with Memphis before being part of a 3-team trade that sent him to Charlotte for his final 28. In almost 30 minutes per game, the 30-year-old two-guard averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and shot 37.9 percent from three. He’s more than just an outside shooter, though, and Lee shot at least 40 percent from mid-range, long twos, and around the basket, according to Basketball-Reference.
Although he might not be an upgrade from Arron Afflalo — who opted out of his contract — on offense, Lee is a better defender. Both guards have similar physical attributes, but Lee is more athletic with quicker feet and faster hands and totaled 85 steals to Afflalo’s 25.
If anything, his situation in New York would be very similar to what it was in Charlotte, and Lee has shown he’s comfortable in a role where he’s not even the third option at times. Most likely, he’d slip behind Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Derrick Rose on the scoring totem pole.