For now, it looks like one of the few bright spots for New York during that time period won’t be coming out the other side with them.
According to the New York Post, David Lee spoke with such finality following the Knicks' final home game of the season that it looks unlikely that he will be with the team next season.
"I'm glad we won and I got to experience one last Knick victory," Lee told the Post after defeating the Wizards 114-103 on Monday. After a pause, Lee decided he had perhaps been too revealing of his summer plans, adding, "If that’s the way it turns out."
Lee looked to be out the door early in the planning stages of the franchise’s rebuilding. As he came into his own — earning his first All-Star berth this season — it became obvious that he may have priced himself out of New York.
Team president Donnie Walsh was brought in to clear up cap space in an attempt to make a run at LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh among others in this summer’s free-agent bonanza. And that he's done, opening up the possibility of bringing two top-tier free agents to Madison Square Garden this summer, as long as they renounce their Bird rights to sign Lee.
With Lee's Bird rights, he would still count against the cap until a new deal is signed, limiting the Knicks' ability to sign other free agents. If they renounce the rights, they can no longer go above the cap to re-sign him. They could sign him to a bigger deal and then use him in a sign-and-trade to nab someone like Bosh in a deal that would not have to match up in salaries
With several big fish in the pond and the Knicks throwing out all the lines they can, Lee may end up being one that got away.