The following was written by Bill Obenauer, who has contributed in this space before. As always, we encourage fans to speak their minds in written form, so if you have some commentary please send it to email@example.com.
"...If you listen to Mark Bartlestein, every team in the league is currently after David Lee, but if you go ahead and Google "David Lee Rumors" or "David Lee Free Agent Rumors" you find nothing of substance. The reason for that is simple: there is nothing of substance.
Bartlestein would like you to believe that he has been contacted by fifteen teams regarding potential sign-and-trade deals for David Lee, but he won't name a single one. That's because teams are contacting him, but not offering the $10 million a year he claims that Lee is worth. If Bartlestein names teams and members of the press reach out to their sources, the word will quickly be out in regards to what other teams are willing to pay and David Lee will lose all of the negotiating power that Bartlestein made him believe that he holds.
In addition to that, Donnie Walsh will not work a sign-and-trade deal unless it benefits him tremendously. Walsh is a shrewd businessman who is not in the game of helping players raise their market value while he gets nothing in return. If David Lee is to get big money this summer, Donnie Walsh is going to be sure that there's a GM putting a financial noose around his neck to make it happen.
With the 2009-2010 NBA salary cap set at $58.7 million, the list of teams that according to HoopsHype.com could afford to offer David Lee an $8 million per season deal is limited to Minnesota,Portland, Toronto, Atlanta,Oklahoma City,Detroit and Memphis. As mentioned before, with Al Jefferson on their team, Minnesota has absolutely so use for David Lee. If Atlanta were to sign David Lee to an $8 million a year deal, it would leave them with only $8 million to fill out the remaining six spots on their roster. Also, the Hawks have to be realistic about the fact that playing alongside Josh Smith and Al Horford, Lee's productive would dip to somewhere in the realm of what it was at when he played alongside Zach Randolph. That said, Atlanta's not really an option. More...