LeBron James stiffed the Knicks with his decision to sign with the Miami Heat.
The Knicks, however, wasted no time before listening to their new leader, Amare Stoudemire, who at Thursday’s press conference said, “it’s onto the next one.”
Of course, Stoudemire was referring to his transition from the Suns to the Knicks, but the same logic still applies.
The Knicks acted quickly to make a move following LeBron’s disappointing announcement, completing a sign & trade deal with the Warriors on David Lee.
Headed to the Big Apple are Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf.
While this is not the star-studded move fans were salivating over, it’s undoubtedly a move in the right direction.
New York and Golden State have similar offensive systems, so all four players should fit seamlessly in at their new locations.
Randolph, a lengthy forward and skilled perimeter shooter, is a nice complement to Stoudemire down low. His fast footwork and excellent ball-handling skills make him a candidate to convert baskets on fast breaks on a nightly basis.
Someone Donnie Walsh has previously inquired about over the last couple seasons, Randolph has been compared to a taller Rudy Gay, whom the Knicks were also reportedly after this summer, before Gay resigned with the Grizzlies.
While he has not yet been able to fully unleash his rebuilding talents, perhaps the opportunity to play for the Knicks will help Randolph further hone his skills.
Azubuike is one of the league’s most underrated players. Undrafted out of Kentucky, he found his niche with the fast-paced Warriors. A sure-shot three-point shooter, he is also known for his defensive skills, which will certainly be an asset to the Knicks.
Azubuike is a very hard working player, having worked his way up from the D-League to becoming a consistent rotation (and often starter) player for the Warriors.
If the Knicks are still worried about defense down low, Turiaf should help ease some of the concern. A menacing shot blocker, Turiaf could see some starts with the Knicks as he certainly fills a massive void.
All three players add different components to this Knicks squad. Walsh made the most of an unfortunate situation (losing Lee) to bolster the presently short-handed roster with three talented players.
Much should be said for David Lee, though. The heart and soul of the Knicks for the last five seasons, Lee worked hard and was the team’s first all-star since 2001 this past season. He maximized the most of his talents in Mike D’Antoni’s system on his way to becoming one of the league’s best big men.
While he will be missed by Knicks fans, Lee quickly became expendable as soon as the Knicks signed Stoudemire.
Walsh and the Knicks showed their appreciation for Lee’s efforts, however, agreeing to sign and trade Lee to the Warriors in order for him to tag on a sixth year to his contract.
He ended up agreeing to a very-well deserved $80 million contract over six years with Golden State.