The Golden State Warriors have acquired All-Star forward/center David Lee in a sign-and-trade deal with the New York Knicks, in exchange for Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and a 2012 second round draft pick, the team announced today. Per team policy, financial terms of Lee’s deal were not released. We’ll post contract details tonight.
Lee, 27, appeared in 81 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 20.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.05 steals in 37.3 minutes per contest, while shooting 54.5% (686-1,258 FG) from the field and 81.2% (268-330 FT) from the line en route to being named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. One of only three players in the NBA last season to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds (joining Chris Bosh and Zach Randolph), Lee ranked fourth in the league in rebounding, fourth in double-doubles with 53 (trailing only Dwight Howard, Zach Randolph and Carlos Boozer), ninth in field goal percentage and 15th in scoring.
“David Lee is a terrific basketball player and an All-Star,” said Warriors’ General Manager Larry Riley. “His skill-set addresses two areas where we need to improve: rebounding and passing, plus, we know he will score. He is a proven talent in this league and we like the way that his talents fit with the other core players on our roster. We thank Kelenna, Anthony and Ronny for their contributions to our team and organization during their time here, and wish them nothing but the best. This decision was not easy, but, at the end of the day, we feel that this was the right move for our organization and we are excited that David Lee is now a member of the Golden State Warriors.”
A five-year NBA veteran, Lee owns career averages of 13.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 30.0 in 368 games (all with New York), while shooting 55.7% from the field and 77.4% from the free throw line. Following a four-year collegiate career at the University of Florida, Lee has continued to improve each year of his NBA career, including an increase in scoring every season – averaging 5.1ppg as a rookie in 2005-06, 10.7 in 2006-07, 10.8 in 2007-08, 16.0 in 2008-09, and 20.2 last season. In fact, over the last four seasons (not counting rookie year of 2005-06) the 6’9’’ forward/center has averaged 14.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, making him one of only seven players in the NBA to average at least 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds over that four-season span (joining Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson and Zach Randolph). Lee is currently a member of the 2010-12 USA Basketball Men’s National Team program alongside Warriors’ guard and teammate Stephen Curry.
Lee scored 20-or-more points 46 times last season (including five 30+ games), grabbed 10-or-more rebounds 54 times, 15-plus boards 23 times and had three 20-plus rebound efforts. He posted 20-points & 10-rebounds in the same game 31 times, including his first career triple-double with a career-high 37 points, 20 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists at Golden State on April 2 to become the first NBA player to register at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did so in March of 1976.
Azubuike, 26, appeared in nine games (seven starts) with Golden State last season, averaging 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 25.7 minutes. He missed the final 73 games of the season after suffering a torn patellar tendon in his left knee on November 14 at Milwaukee and undergoing surgery for the injury on November 18. Originally called-up from the NBA D-League by the Warriors on July 17, 2007, Azubuike owns career averages of 10.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 24.4 minutes in 205 regular-season games over three seasons with Golden State.
Randolph, 20, appeared in 33 games (eight starts) last season for the Warriors, averaging 11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.55 blocks in 22.7 minutes per contest. He missed 48 games due to injury, including the final 47 contests of the season due to a sprained left ankle that occurred on January 8 vs. Sacramento. Originally selected by the Warriors with the 14th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Randolph owns career averages of 9.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.30 blocks and 19.6 minutes in 96 games over two seasons with Golden State.
Turiaf, 27, appeared in 42 games (20 starts) with Golden State last season, averaging 4.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.29 blocks in 20.8 minutes per contest. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round (37th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft and signed as a restricted free agent by the Warriors on July 10, 2008, Turiaf owns career averages of 5.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.42 blocks and 17.9 minutes in 294 regular-season games over five seasons with the Lakers and Warriors.