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Report: Warriors lower asking price in potential David Lee trades

May 22, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Orlando Magic Golden State Warriors v Orlando Magic

The Warriors have been linked to Kevin Love, and of course, acquiring Love would be great for Golden State.

It wouldn’t be so great for David Lee, currently the Warriors’ starting power forward.

That – and the fact the 31-year-old Lee probably wouldn’t intrigue the Timberwolves much beyond his ability to make salaries match – explains why Golden State is reportedly exploring Lee trades

Marcus Thompson of Bay Area News Group:

The Warriors have tried to move David Lee in the past. But it needed to be a no-brainer in order for them to pull the trigger. But now, per a couple league sources, the Warriors have lowered the bar realizing they’ve got to come off that contract so they can go after a co-star for Stephen Curry. Plus, with Steve Kerr acknowledging he wants a stretch-four, which Lee is not, the writing is really on the wall for Lee.

I’ve been told to watch out for Orlando as a potential trade partner for Golden State. They have cap space and after a second consecutive year finishing way down in the Eastern Conference standings, they need to make a move. They might be a taker for David Lee for the same reasons the Warriors were back in 2010: they need someone who can produce reliably and usher the franchise into respectability.

The Warriors might not want to trade Klay Thompson, but if they want Love, they might have to. It’s difficult to create a package including neither Thompson nor Stephen Curry, who’s not going anywhere, and tempt Minnesota.

So, not only would a Love-to-Golden State probably leave a hole at shooting guard, it would create a surplus of power forwards.

Enter Orlando.

The Magic could easily have as much as $26 million in cap space this offseason. It will be difficult for them, coming off back-to-back miserable seasons, to attract a free agent better than Lee, and they have to reach the team-salary floor.

So, this could be a good opportunity for Orlando to pluck Lee. Lee’s contract ($15,012,000 in 2014-15 and $15,493,680 in 2015-16) isn’t so costly that the Magic can request a sweetener from Golden State, but Lee’s salary certainly lowers his value.

On the plus side, Lee is still good enough to boost Orlando’s play. Maybe he can even have an Al Jefferson-like impact.

The Magic’s most obvious trade chip is Arron Afflalo. With Victor Oladipo emerging and Dante Exum or Marcus Smart possible picks at No. 4, Afflalo is becoming especially expendable.

But the Magic trading the cheaper Afflalo for Lee wouldn’t really be taking advantage of their advantageous position. They should do better in the end, but Afflalo-for-Lee can be a starting point.

And then there’s Golden State’s side.

Curry and Lee, teammates the last four seasons, have an excellent offensive chemistry. Knowing where each other will be, they have the confidence to whip passes back and forth – creating space that way. The Warriors shouldn’t throw that away just to chase a stretch four who spaces the floor more traditionally through outside shooting.

But Love isn’t just any stretch four.

If the Warriors have to trade Thompson and take a loss on a separate Lee trade – either giving up more to get Afflalo or accepting less from Orlando – that could very much be worth it.

  1. duhwighthoward - May 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    David Lee is a great player. I’m not sure I get the argument for a trade with Orlando. Lee is better than everyone on their roster.

    • sportsfan18 - May 22, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      Agreed he is good and would help them but money does factor in as well as how close the team is to being good.

      His current contract of $15 million is about 24% of the salary cap for this coming season.

      Over the course of the next two seasons, the Magic will NOT realistically contend at all and they would have to give him over $30 million and a quarter of their salary cap for his age 32 and 33 seasons.

      When he is done or they are done with him, what have the Magic gained but a few more wins each of the next two seasons?

      They are NOT close enough where a few more wins each of the next two seasons is going to push them over the top so to speak.

      Is $30 million and taking the time AWAY from a younger players development really worth it when one looks at the OVERALL stated of the team?

      Even with Lee next year I don’t think they’d make the playoffs and even if they did the following season, they’d most likely be one and done in them.

      I just don’t see the overall pros outweighing the cons of this for the Magic.

      Lee IS a good player and there are teams that would benefit more from having him than the Magic in their current situation.

      • jasonpdx1000 - May 22, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        The Warriors were one and done with Lee. So that’s not a very good point to make.

    • david407 - May 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Vucevic > Lee

    • spursareold - May 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      A lot of you are missing the point. GS needs to offload his salary, without taking much, or anything back. It’s hard to get value in that case. Part of the value is having the space to do a Love trade.

      • brhorer - May 23, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        I think you are missing the point. NBA salary cap rules make it so that you cannot do exactly what you just said. The salary you trade away has to be matched by the salary coming in. You can’t just trade away a fat salary and take nothing back in return. That is why the Amnesty Clause was so valuable. Teams could get a player off their books for nothing in return. Otherwise, people like Amare Stoudemire wouldn’t be on the Knicks with a $20 million dollar salary.

        This is why you see teams trade for “expiring contracts” when the team wants to clear cap room. They sacrifice having that player on their team for the last year of their contract, so that when the year is over, all that salary comes off their books.

  2. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Except that some people on the Magic roster can actually play defense and stay healthy, so no he isn’t.

  3. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Zero chance Orlando trades Afflalo for Lee unless there is some other people and/or draft picks thrown in to make it a better deal. Afflalo played at an all star level last year and is a better and cheaper player.

    • spursareold - May 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      Afflalo’s PER was 16.0, barely above the NBA average player standard of 15.0, and hardly ‘All Star level’.

      Arron is a 3 and D guy, plain and simple.

      • spursareold - May 22, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        Don’t get me wrong. I love Afflalo, and would jump to get him on my roster…at $3-4M. Not so much at $7.5M

  4. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Maybe if you throw in Barnes to the Magic.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=nqf5nu8

    • muathjam21 - May 22, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Lol, your scenario has the Warriors losing Thompson, Barnes, AND Green. Yeah, in no way that is ever going to happen.

  5. wilsonsoriano - May 22, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    I still don’t get it, I still don’t get the Orlando scenario, it doesn’t make sense to me other than the finances part of it of sheding some of the humongous Lee’s salary. I don’t see this going through, D. Lee is a better player than Affalo, now, If Orlando was to sweeten the pot by offering their 1st round pick, then, now we are talking! And I don’t see Oralndo doing that! Bob Myers would never accept a straight trade between Lee and Affalo, even if it means for dumping salary purposes, not with what D. Lee has to offer (D. Lee is not A. Biedrins or Jefferson). Something else would have to happen for this to go through, like a three team trade or something between Minny, Orlando and the Dubs. Otherwise, scratch it, stop talking about it, that’s now how we do business with this new management. I still think we can get K. Love for D. Lee and another player other than the starting unit and Green and Barnes. (although, I am afraid one of those two may have to be included).

    • muathjam21 - May 22, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Aside from maybe the Lakers’ 7th pick, David Lee and Harrison Barnes is the best (realistic) trade Minnesota can hope for, quite honestly. They get a veteran, double-double machine in Lee that can help them replace some of Love’s production immediately and they get a 21-year-old with vast potential in Barnes.

      • somatg3 - May 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        you’re an idiot. you make it sounds like the wolves are desperate to trade love. golden state isn’t getting him unless they include Klay. The wolves would be better off keeping love this year and improving. worst case he leaves and the wolves have 15 mil to spend on someone else. barnes isn’t much of a player and the wolves aren’t going to want lee and brutal contract when they aleady have a white guy that cant jump in Pekovic. Cavs, Bulls, Celtics, Suns and Rockets all have much more to trade than Golden State so give up that pipe dream

  6. mutasian - May 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    lakers getting love. the rest of them should just look elsewhere.

    • muathjam21 - May 22, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      They can have Love. They still won’t be close to even sniffing a Championship anytime soon, and good luck building a team around Love after Kobe’s gone.

  7. 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    I hate how David Lee gets treated with no respect. I might go out on a limb and say he’s the most underrated player in the league. Definitely top 5. He gets no love.

    • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      **top 5 underrated

      Not top 5 overall talent

  8. andiroid71 - May 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Defs not a top 5 player, but yeah, can’t understand why people hate on him. Plenty of other players out there who play a lot worse D and get better wraps. Seems to be a great team mate too.

  9. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    @Spurs Afflalo is not just 3 and D, he gets most of his best looks on post-ups just outside the paint. He’s also a good ball handler, and decent at driving the bucket. His true shooting % was ridiculous while averaging nearly 20ppg. The dude is all star caliber, PER doesn’t tell the whole story.

    • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      So then why are you guys so eager to get rid of him?

      • coachdp3 - May 23, 2014 at 1:52 AM

        Victor O. is why. The Magic want value for Affalo and now is the time to get it. I dont like this deal. Magic have a player in his prime and getting back a player on the down side with a huge salary. There are better offers out there.

  10. Robert - May 22, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    David Lee for Greg Oden.

  11. Robert - May 22, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    BTW San Francisco Warriors will be changing their name to the San Francisco Missions or Seals.

    About time.

    • muathjam21 - May 22, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      Only if the Lakers change their name to the Los Angeles Part-Time Waiters.

      • Robert - May 22, 2014 at 9:24 PM

        I have no idea how the Lakers were brought in to this post, Professional sports wants to eliminate any names related to Native Americans and their history. Warriors, Redskins, Indians are on the list.

        San Francisco Missions or San Francisco Seals is a real possibility, and the names sound good and they are tied to the region.

        As you know, the Warriors came over from Philadelphia and brought the name with name, it is not an original name for the current region. This team is moving to San Francisco, which is high on the PC list, and they will welcome a changed name that has something to do with area.

      • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Los Angeles Smog.

      • wjoinfo - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        Robert, Where did you see this list that says warriors are synonymous with Native Americans? A warrior can be any combatant in fighting not necessarily a Native American.

  12. norcalsportsknowledge - May 22, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    If Dubs trade Lee for Affalo + additional players worth ~2.5mil+ 10 pick. They would have to trade them in the Love deal or trade Iguadola(doubtful) to make salaries match close enough for league to allow deal. Trading Lee to Orlando would allow dubs to keep Klay in Love trade. Dubs would trade Affalo,Barnes,10th pick,Speights, and a little more. (Maybe Dubs future 1st).

  13. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    @Malt because he’s 30 and the Magic are just trying to collect as many assets as possible. The Magic will not be a good team the next season or two, so there’s no reason to hold Afflalo. He’s just had a great year so his value is high, this means more potential picks or young players. Did I really need to explain this?

  14. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Orlando will not trade any 1st round picks. It’s just not happening, if you know anything about Hennigan he’s all about collecting picks and young players. He would trade Afflalo for Lee but only if he gets assets like Barnes/Klay/picks in return.

  15. norcalsportsknowledge - May 22, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Dubs would probably have to include Green in my trade scenario. Somehow I left him out, it would be nice for Dubs to leave him out, but that’s not realistically happening.

  16. norcalsportsknowledge - May 22, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Orlando needs some veteran players if they ever want to make playoff run. They have a ton of cap space,but it’s not a team good veteran FA’s want to sign with, so there going to have to trade for them. As a Dubs fan I know this,forever nobody good would sign there w/out over paying. Orlando will pick PG with first pick,who will start. Don’t need 2 rookies and 3 second yr players starting. They need PF, and it’s a thin PF draft yr. I think it would be smart for Orlando to trade for Lee with 10th pick. They need to sign/trade for other solid veteran FA’s to teach the youngsters.

  17. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    @norcal Having veterans is great and all, but the most important thing to have in the NBA is stars and you get those through the draft most of the time. Orlando will continue collecting draft picks and young players until they find an identity, THEN they will go get some vets.

  18. themagicfanguy - May 22, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    “Real possibility”

    Yeah, that’s what we call a lie .

  19. aaagary123 - May 23, 2014 at 12:31 AM

    Believe it or not Milwaukee has some players that would fit well in a trade for Lee. Ilyasova is a stretch 4. Sanders or Henson could become available depending on who they get with the #2 pick. Regardless the problem G.S. will have at some point is the amount of max contracts they can give out. The CBA makes it very hard to have more then 2. So if they potentially build around Curry and Love, then some others have to go. In time it will just be impossible for them to keep Barnes and Thompson along with those 2. Plus someone else like Green.

  20. anhdazman - Jun 14, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    Keep tanking Orlando, you’re still going to be doo doo for another few years.

    Lee one and done with GSW? I believe they’ve been to the playoffs these last two years. GSW keeps him on the roster and we’ll be in 3 straight. I rather have the stretch four guy on the Pelican. PF. Love is too costly and very injury prone.

    • wjoinfo - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      Keep trying, you might end up getting Anderson. I hope not but the way Dell Demps is wheeling and dealing it’s hard to predict anything that guy is going to do. I don’t know if he’s doing a good job or not but I have a feeling we’re going to find out this next season. By the way, even though I’m a Pels fan, I really like Golden State’s roster and maybe Kerr can bring you guys to the promise land

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