Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free Agency Update: Hints of Lee

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:18 PM

The NBA's free agent season got underway today and though the actual negotiating period is still a few hours away, the situation as it could relate to the Grizzlies has come into focus a little bit:

Carlos Boozer deciding not to opt out of his contract with Utah took a longshot option off the table for the Grizzlies, but it may have put a more reasonable option on it in the form of Paul Millsap, whom the Jazz are now at least somewhat less likely to re-sign.

The Milwaukee Bucks surprisingly neglected to tender a qualifying offer to Charlie Villanueva, making him an unrestricted free agent and making it all but certain that he'll be switching teams this summer.

It's funny — but not at all surprising — to see the Grizzlies not mentioned at all in one prominent free-agent preview. But I continue to suspect — perhaps willfully — that the team is going to do something significant this summer. Maybe it will be to re-start trade talks with the Clippers for Zach Randolph. But I still think Knicks restricted free agent David Lee is the most likely target.

CBS Sports' Ken Berger has a report tonight that might feed into this educated hunch:

* David Lee's days in New York are effectively over, said a source who believes that agent Mark Bartelstein will find the Knicks' choking point and exceed it by a dollar in negotiations with Oklahoma City and/or Memphis. "It's a tough loss for New York, but they don't want to screw up their 2010 plan," the person said. The money will be there for Lee, especially now that Boozer is off the market. The only reason for Lee to think twice is the added bang for the buck he's gotten out of playing in New York. He won't be a known commodity anymore in OKC or Memphis.

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