But the final name David Stern announced before ceding the night’s emcee duties to Russ Granik was not Taft, it was Lee: a four-year senior who had averaged a workmanlike 11 and 7 in his time with the Gators and who projected to offer similarly steady but unspectacular production in a bench role for the Knicks. For a team with absolutely nothing to get excited about, this seemed like a classic example of Isiah buying a nice new set of snow tires when he couldn’t afford a car (to say nothing of the fact that, in Kurt Thomas, the Knicks already possessed a set of the same model of snow tires, and a more broken-in set at that). The pick was illogical, miscalculated, and hubristic. And it was just about the only thing Isiah got right in his time at the helm.*I dismiss Lee's stats to a fault. I think people who believe that his offense is a fluke are being misguided. Defensively, he was overmatched and underwhelming guarding 4s and 5s. What it always came down to was space and at the 4 position, Lee just didn't have the mid range game. I think he will in Golden State and have the chance to shoot it a ton. He'll be effective.
*I’ll spare you the effort of looking it up: Taft eventually went 42nd overall, somewhat coincidentally to the same Golden State Warriors that now employ Lee. He played in 17 games, averaged 3 points and 2 rebounds, underwent back surgery and hasn’t played basketball professionally since 2006. Again, remind me I wanted this guy the next time I criticize a personnel decision. more.
The real point here is the importance of hitting the jackpot late in any draft. It's not easy. I can name 10 people I know who wanted Taft, the local product from Xaverian. Isiah truly got Lee right, and that could be looked at as an important moment in franchise history if the Knicks can spin Anthony Randolph in a package for a star player of if he becomes one himself
Ironically, I liked Turiaf very much at 30.