As the Knicks approach the Feb. 8 trade deadline still with an eye on future assets, veteran shooting guard Courtney Lee is a natural trade piece for a contending team looking for extra pop on both ends.
Asked his feelings about getting traded, Lee seemed nonchalant and ambivalent. If a trade happens, he’d be fine.
“Not at all — I’ve been in this league 10 years,’’ Lee said Tuesday. “I’ve been traded a couple of times, so it’s nothing new. Only thing you can do is control what you can control, show up, be a professional, do your work, go hard, leave it all out on the court and whatever happens, happens.”
“If I get traded, I get traded,’’ Lee said. “If I’m here, I’m here. I’m happy either way. I’m alive and I’m playing basketball and that’s what I love to do.”
Courtney Lee didn’t outright say ‘trade me’ but he also didn’t say ‘please don’t trade me’. Yes, we all know that the NBA is a business and there’s no loyalty and blah blah but if you want to be on the New York Knicks then if you are asked a question about leaving the Knicks, you say ‘I don’t want to leave the Knicks’. Enes Kanter has come out and made it abundantly clear that he wants to be on the Knicks forever. Courtney Lee basically shrugged so.
The good news is that the Knicks 1000% should trade Courtney Lee and if anything, this weird statement by him provides the team with a much needed green light to trade away a team leader. The Knicks are currently in no-man’s land where they aren’t losing enough games to have a top 5 draft pick and they aren’t good enough to make the playoffs.
So trade a shooting guard who is a 10-year vet averaging around 13 points a night to a playoff contender who needs experience and a shooter off the bench. Time for the Knicks to ship away any veteran player of value and bring in more youth and draft picks. Make the playoff push next season.
SEEE YAAA, Courtney. Bring Jeff Hornacek wherever you go.
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