The first of a point / counterpoint from 2 forum members discussing the merits of the David Lee deal. With the Warriors failure to make an impact at the trading deadline, and recent decline in play, fans are throwing in the towel for this season. Conversation is now moving to the long term prospects of this team as it’s currently constructed.
Dubit weighs in with his take on why the David Lee signing is a bad deal, and the wrong fit for this team.
Lee is one of the top 4’s in the west in fantasy hoops but not on the floor. Western 4’s better than Lee: Duncan, Nowitzki, Gasol, Odom, Ibaka, West, Aldridge, Randolph, Griffin and Love. You could argue Millsap and Scola as well but I left them out to keep it clean. That puts Lee 11th in the west out of 15 teams.
1. Big numbers little impact.
Lee had 20/10 last night, sounds great until you see that his +/- was somewhere in China. Lee is the master of collecting sweet stats in losses, fantasy gold, NBA cubic zirconium.
2. No attention paid to the team’s skillset needs and construction. The need for 2-way balance was ignored.
On a team with no back to the basket scorer and no post defender or anchor you can’t add a face up 4 matador. It means your center has to provide those things and we all know Biedrins can’t. So adding Lee magnifies the team’s most glaring weaknesses on both ends. Lee addresses the glass weakness, he fits the up and down offense, but his abject lack of inside game sentences the Warriors to still having no inside game, which you must have to win in the league.
They had to add a physical 4 that can board and either score low block or defend/swat on the block. Lee is neither so he essentially becomes a big 3 that can board on a team desperate for power inside.
This is Riley’s biggest weakness, he values stats over skillsets and that leads to the team construction being fundamentally flawed.
3. Way overpaid
The response to his contract from GMs around the league – 80 million??!!? The contract was too long for too much. You give a player money or years but not both unless he is a proven put the team on his back star. The Warriors overpaid dramatically to ensure that Lee would agree to the deal.
You get your man but if he doesn’t fit it’s very hard to deal your man. The Dubs have a history of all-in contracts. Which leads to glow in the dark gaffes like Tanning Salon Biedrins getting 9M per for the next three seasons.
Lee is a nice player, a good teammate, but he’s a terrible fit defensively and he’s a 4 that isn’t an inside big on a team that desperately needs an inside big. A team with Lee and Biedrins starting inside isn’t winning any playoff games because they won’t be going to any.
Lee was the wrong skillset profile for this team. You can use the Fitz excuse of their record when Lee is healthy but that’s fake gold too. Can a team win playoff games with Lee at 4 in the west? Nope. Size inside and two-way team balance wins NBA playoff games.
David Lee is a one-way player on a one-way team heading down a dead end street.