Courtney Lee believes the New York Knicks will be a force to be reckoned with next season. That is one of the main reasons why he decided to jump from Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena to Madison Square Garden.
Several NBA teams offered more money to Lee this offseason. It was the Knicks who won him over after the team traded for Derrick Rose in June. Phil Jackson and company have since added former Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah and free agent point guard Brandon Jennings to the team.
In a one-on-one interview with New York Post’s Fred Kerber, Lee said the roster Jackson assembled is built to win now. He agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract with the Knicks because it was the team that had the most promise.
“Seeing the trade they made to get Derrick Rose, signing Joakim, discussions with Brandon, I felt the team was moving in the right direction,” Lee said. You already had Melo and KP here. So that’s a strong core group. Thought joining this team would only increase my chances of competing in the Eastern Conference and trying to win a ring.”
Daily Knicks indicated that Lee will have no problem fitting in New York. He won’t be stealing the offensive spotlight from Rose or Anthony. Lee is a three-point specialist. He earns his living by waiting for kick-out passes and knocking down wide open shots from beyond the arc. He could also become the Knicks’ best perimeter defender.
“He was at the top of the list from the beginning. We like the idea of his competitive nature as player,” explained Knicks GM Steve Mills. “He comes into the game wanting to defend the best perimeter player on the opposing team. We needed that type of defensive energy and ability to make shots.”
Before deciding to join the Knicks this offseason, Lee already played for six teams in his eight-year NBA journey. In the 2015-16 season, Lee averaged 8.9 points, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game as a member of the Charlotte Hornets, as per Basketball Reference.
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