Response to Dubit’s post on David Lee not being the answer from Tanner.

Obviously Duncan, Gasol and Dirk are better than David Lee. Those guys are going to go the Hall of Fame. Aldridge is better (even though he’s had some pretty underwhelming seasons himself.) Griffin and Love are both better. I will not give you Randolph. You don’t get credit for dogging years, destroying teams and then “figuring it out” when you’re 30 and playing for a contract. Ibaka is a role player. Millsap and Scola are not better although they are both good. If you replace Lee with any of those last 3 the Warriors are not a better team. And what are the Warriors supposed to do, just hold out until they can get a guy better than LaMarcus Aldridge?

Would you argue that the Warriors are not better this year with Lee? Their record would be the same or better without him? So he has no impact?

Of course he isn’t a good fit on this team right now. No one is a good fit on this team right now. That’s the bad news. The good news is he can play basketball. You can build a team with him on it, unlike, say Biedrins. A defensive center next to Lee is a much better front court than a defensive power forward next to Biedrins. Not to mention big men who dominate defensively aren’t easy to come by. Saying we should have got one instead of Lee is fine but where is that guy? Tell me who was available that we passed on. That’s why we “overdrafted” Udoh, b/c those guys are hard to find. It’s a process. It’s frustrating to hear Lacob say fans should be patient but the facts are the cupboard was bare when he started. It’s going to take time. It sucks, but it is what it is. And make no mistake, Curry, Lee, Wright and Udoh is the foundation of this team. They should be able to move Monta and Biedrins to add better and more complimentary pieces to that core. And when Lee is playing the 2 man game with Curry instead of being the 3rd option he will be a more productive player, and when we have pieces around them and Udoh and Wright that fit better than Monta and Biedrins and whoever this will be a better team.

He is overpaid by a couple million dollars a year. Rudy Gay and Joe Johnson, who are both on Lee’s level, both got overpaid last year too. A lot of people are overpaid in the NBA. Brendan Haywood plays 17 minutes a game and got $55 million last year. A good player making 13 when he should be making 9 or 10 is not going to cripple a franchise, especially when there is no chance he will stop playing hard b/c he got paid. All this talk about the length of the contract is crazy. Good free agents don’t get 3 year deals. They get 5 or 6 year deals.

Lee isn’t the problem. And a good front office can make him part of the solution.

8 Responses

  1. Frank

    Just in case my last comment wasn’t clear enough:

    -has recorded 8 of the top 50 scoring performances in the NBA (most of any player)
    -scored 20 pts in a half 16 times as of last night (tied for first with KOBE BRYANT and KEVIN DURANT)
    -scored 40 points in a game 4 times (2nd most in NBA – Durant 5)

    kobe is making what?-25 million-25 ppg
    carmelo anthony-17mil-25ppg

    so yah lets trade ellis just like we did all of the other ex-warrior all stars and collectively look like a bunch of morons.

  2. Frank

    I agree that signing lee isn’t a bad thing, but have you even watched a game this season. It completely stupid to even fathom moving ellis AT ALL. Putting up all star numbers for 11million a year on a contract with a few years left on it! Nowhere else in the league could you find talent like that for a price that cheap (unless you can get blake griffin – not happening).


    Besides ellis has blossomed to the player we knew he could be- ceasing his old selfish habits of being a volume shooter. I garuntee he is putting up some of the highest shooting percentages when you look at those of the top scorers. Sure he picked up a lot of hate in the Nelson years, but get over it – he is the reason we have any wins at all.

  3. Manny

    First of all you guys are crazy. Ellis, Curry and Lee are the Warriors’ core and should be for many years to come. Instead of focusing on replacing Monta, the main focus should be finding a 3 and a 5; Wright serves well as a 6th man but I dont think he is the answer at the starting role if we want to get to the finals. Since Lee likes the mid range game the 5 that the Warriors are in search for should be a “back to the basket” type of player, basically someone who just sits on the low block and demands a double team. There are no 5’s in the draft this year that have that kind of potential, so hopefully the Warriors do not go after one in the draft.

  4. 81WASIV

    David Lee is a whole lot worse than you think! what are you watching? DLee is a one-dimensional player. the worst defending PF in the NBA and it’s not close. no finishing ability around the basket at all, less than most PGs. not even anything special rebounding. the only thing he can do is shoot a mid-range j.

    a glorified mid-range jump shooter who plays PF for 6 years and 80 million! Oh what a bargain. Don’t kid yourself, Zach Randolph at half-speed is better than DLee. Lee isn’t in the same stratosphere as LaMarcus.

    Lee is no better than Troy Murphy. they are the same player except Murph has 3pt range and is 2″ taller. comparing him to Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay is insulting to anyone w/ any basketball intelligence. are you best friends or related to Lee???

    David Lee is one of the least effective starting PFs in the entire NBA. already in year one of his deal he is losing mins to a rookie because of his inability to defend even the slowest of players. I don’t even want to imagine how bad he will be in a few seasons. the players who will be available for similar money in the coming years will be dumbfounding. the W’s bid against themselves. No other team was interested in DLee for anywhere near those terms.

  5. Daniel

    Yes, I think Beidrins is the problem here — his play is much too sporadic. He’s great on the boards and even defensively for a stretch, then he’ll either get into foul trouble or disappear.

    But even beyond that, it’s the non-existence of Beidrins and the other Warriors’ bigs as an offensive threat which bothers Lee’s game. On his down cuts and the few times where he rolls to the basket on pick-and-rolls, the help defense is coming over aggressively on Lee because they aren’t worried about the man they’re leaving — which in many cases is Beidrins, but also Udoh and whomever else is playing alongside Lee.

    Lee just isn’t a guy that’s going to score over sizable bigs, and it’s often the other teams’ center that’s coming over — someone who is usually bigger than Lee is. If the Warriors had a center that could hit from 12-15 feet, it’d make it harder for them to close as aggressively, and I think Lee could pick up an extra field goal or two a game.

  6. knight

    Lee is an excellent high post 4 man. What’s needed is a 5 who can post up down low and actually take some defensive attention and get some double teams. The “skinny” big men theme should be over. A strong 5 would also help defensively so GSW wouldn’t have to double team low every time opponents 5 gets the ball. Replacing Ellis with a bigger 2 who has energy on defense and a good 5 should be tops on the list. Eventually getting a very good 3 who can shoot and create his own shot, which Wright can’t, would be next. Wright as the first man off the bench at the 2 and 3 would be excellent.

  7. bgalella

    David Lee has the talent, think his elbow is bothering him more than he’s leading on. When he was in New York, he could score with ease and dominated the glass.

    It hasn’t happened in Golden State.

    • Dubit

      A debate on Lee is really about the goals. If your goal is to win more games and maybe get an 8 seed in the next few years he meets that – but no further. A face up 4 matador is going to hurt you once the playoffs begin. A one-way run and shoot team can’t create high percentage looks inside when the game slows down, they rely solely on pace and their outside shooting, they can’t deny penetration, get pounded inside and they lose. Adding pieces that boost the regular season but whose skill sets are playoff poison is a dead end. You have to lay the foundation for playoff success. Lee is solely a move to make them competitive in the regular season, not competitive playoffs.

      So who can you get and how? You leverage players in cloudy situations with their team. Odom squabbling with LA in summer 2009. Lakers don;t want to pay him what he wants and were in clear need for depth, leverage that. Dubs diidn’t even though they had the low salary young role players that LA needed.. Blatche fights with a teammate and the Wiz consider moving him. Leverage that. Gortat makes too much money as a backup to D12 and Orlando knows they have to move him, leverage that. Opportunities do arise, but you need to react quickly and aggressively. If you are overly concerned with keeping the core then that;s exactly what happens. You keep the core – and only add regular season pieces around them.

      The other option is to pay for it. They were offered Okafor for Biedrns and change but weren’t willing to take on OKafor;s contract. Would Lacob be different than Cohan? Would Riley make the offer now? I’m not holding my breath.

      Lee with a defensive center better than Biedrins with a defensive 4. That’s more a referendum on just how worthless Biedrins is than how valuable Lee is. If you have a defensive center and Lee in the playoffs the opponent penetrates against the center to put him in foul trouble and you’re toast. A more physical 4 that can play both ways and has less O than Lee is still more valuable than Lee to this team in a playoff setting.

      The better than list is subjective. Millsap is a similar player so I’ll concede that. Zbo it’s more than just this year he was doing this last year. Think in skill sets, back to the basket inside scorer.. Scola more physical player. Ibaka a dirt cheap anchor just scratching the surface who Riley went after at the deadline. Hard.

      What does this team care about most – improving in the regular season or being relevant in the real season? We know what Cohan’s answer was. We’ve now seen what Lacob;s initial answer is. Until this team values playoff relevance above everything else they will continue to fail. They have to break up the core, the next CBA will very likely lower the cap and if so the money for nothing and the checks for free strategy blows up. You have to give to get, and what you get has to be a physical inside big. Until then this is a team on a treadmill. They have to choose to get off it and pay the price to climb up the league the hard way,