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Report: Warriors put David Lee on trade block

Jul 1, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

David Lee AP

The 2013 NBA playoffs were filled with many incredible moments: Ray Allen’s 3-pointer to send Game 6 of the NBA Finals to overtime, LeBron James making a game-winning layup with Roy Hibbert on the bench, Nate Robinson carrying the Bulls to a triple-overtime win and many more.

One moment that might have appeared to deserve mention – David Lee playing after suffering an injury that should have ended his season – was actually one of the postseason’s worst. Here’s  why, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

The Golden State Warriors  are exploring trade opportunities for All-Star forward David Lee and the three years, $44 million left on his contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.Lee, 30, is a popular and well-respected player within the Golden State franchise but his contract is considerable, and moving him for a star – or a player on a shorter deal – makes financial sense.

There’s a huge difference between a useful player competing through an injury and Golden State using Lee as a gimmick. If Mark Jackson wanted to motivate his team, he should have found other ways, and I believe he was capable. Jackson is one of the NBA’s most inspiring head coaches. Playing Lee was just an easy way out.

Now that the Warriors are considering trading him – a reasonable option on the merit of creating salary-cap flexibility, especially considering how successful they were in the playoffs after his injury – I wonder whether Lee regrets sacrificing his already-injured body for the team.

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