"...The Nuggets, sources said, did not have enough to get Lee after withdrawing Kleiza and offering a package built around guard Chucky Atkins (who makes $3.2 million this season and $3.5 million next season) and two first-round picks.Remember due to NBA rules the Nuggets would not be able to offer 2009 and 2010 first rounders because they gave up their pick last year to the Bobcats.
Yet it seems safe to presume that Atkins will be offered up to the Knicks again between now and the Feb. 19 trading deadline, in one trade scenario or another, given his perpetual readiness to hoist a shot -- never discouraged in Mike D'Antoni's offense -- and the Nuggets' well-known desire to shed at least one more salary to get under the luxury-tax line..."
From what we are hearing, the Lee for Kleiza talks had some steam but fell through, and one has to wonder why Donnie Walsh wouldn't want to swing a deal for two first round picks. My thinking is that he is waiting for Eddy Curry's return before moving Lee. Maybe he can use Lee to move Curry's contract. As I've said before, to rid, Randolph, Crawford, Curry then Marbury in the same season is beyond my wildest dreams.
Either way, if Walsh can manage to bring back a pick or two, or get rid of Curry's contract, it makes sense for him to trade Lee.
And I think Walsh knows it. But how can you trade Lee? The guy is a fan favorite, blue-collar type much like Charles Oakley was. Is he limited? Yes. Does his lateral quickness get exposed far too often? Sure.
But he's a double double machine.
In saying what I said about Curry, Walsh still has next year to deal him but time is running out on what to do with Lee.
I don't envy Walsh on this one.