Al Bello/Getty ImagesIn the wake of David Lee's latest All-Star snub, a couple of things might have become apparent to Knicks fans. First, Lee's stats really are somewhat inflated and he's not an All-Star calibre player. Second, the Knicks truly are thatbad if their star can average almost 20 and 11, receive the endorsement of future hall of famer Kobe Bryant among others, and still be passed over for a reserve spot.The reality is probably a combination of the two. It has been a joy to watch Lee develop over the past few years. He's transformed from a hustling reserve Minnesota Vikings
to a solid all-around player who could start for some of the NBA's top teams. He is also, however, an undersized center who regularly gets bullied by stronger, more athletic big men (being outplayed by Drew Gooden set the tone for the Knicks' disastrous Sunday loss to Dallas).At the same time, I have a feeling that Lee's defense suffers, in large part, because the Knicks ask too much of him on offense. He will never be a terrific interior defender, he isn't built for that, but I can't help but feel that if he had some consistent help on the other end of the floor, he might improve as a defender in the same way he learned how to become an excellent midrange shooter.This season, Lee has been the centerpiece of the offense with his shooting and playmaking abilities. There are only a handful of players who match great offensive production with impressive defense and 2 of them are serenaded with MVP chants everywhere they play.The solution: get some more offensive weapons to take some of the weight off of Lee's shoulders. Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, and Al HarringtonNew England Patriots jersey
just haven't been getting it done consistently. Although I like Chandler and Gallo, I'm not sold on the Knicks' youth movement (as I'm sure this summer's top free agents aren't). To make a real play for two free agents this summer, the Knicks will have to move Jefferies' awful contract. To make Jefferies' contract palatable to another the team, the Knicks will have to include either Gallo or Chandler in a package. I prefer Chandler because he possesses top-tier athleticism and would fill more needs as a role player on a better Knicks team, but I'm sure most other teams prefer him over Gallo too. Both players essentially occupy the same position, so bidding farewell to either one would be a small price to pay for the financial maneuverability moving Jefferies would allow. With Jefferies gone, the Knicks would have more of New Orleans Saints jersey
a shot at paying for 2 max contracts this summer. Without an All-Star berth, David Lee's free agent stock is definitely not as high as it would have been had he made the team. This is great news for the Knicks. Even with 2 max contracts, they might be able to get Lee to sign on for the fun as well at a price that would not break the bank.