At one point in his 10-year NBA career with the Golden State Warriors, David Lee was a double-double-a-night guy. Now, in the midst of being relegated to a role player with the Boston Celtics and being waived, those days are more than likely behind him. However, Lee can still provide value to a Mavs team that desperately needs help on multiple fronts on the offensive end. ... and the Mavs are indeed planning to sign him after he clears.
Defensively, the 6’9” 250-pound Lee is an average player at best, and has been known to be targeted on that end of the floor by more talented offensive big men. He has the talent to hold his own on that end of the floor, but his age and average athleticism will more than likely work against him in the NBA’s wide-open, offensively-driven Western Conference.
From 2008-2014, Lee was an offensive force for the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors, averaging close to a double-double during that time period. The most productive year of his career came in the 2009-10 season with the Knicks, where he averaged a career best 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per contest. Lee is a two-time NBA All-Star with a Third Team All-NBA nod is 2013 under his belt, and was a key role player for the Warriors NBA Title run last season.
Even with all that, the Celtics could not find a taker before the trade deadline.
Offensively, Lee is a gifted rebounder and passer, who possesses the ability to play the stretch-4 position that is key in Rick Carlisle’s offensive system. Though he tends to be outmatched on the block on the offensive end, that is not Lee’s game. Lee can shoot from all over the floor, and can thrive from mid-range. His shooting ability gives him the opportunity to be the Mavs first true back up to Dirk Nowitzki, as he can do some of the things that Dirk provides Dallas on that end of the floor. Though he’s obviously not as skilled as Dirk shooting the basketball (there aren’t too many who are, honestly), Lee should be able to spell The Big German effectively at that position.
When it’s all said and done, this acquisition for Dallas isn’t the sexiest move of the NBA Trade Deadline/Waiver Period, but it does give the Mavs a much-needed addition in rebounding and on the offensive end. (The Mavs aren't prepared to say this yet, but John Jenkins looms as a possibility to lose his roster spot with this move.)
By the way, they aren't done shopping here, though Fish has a Kevin Martin update ...
And what about Joe Johnson?
So it's Lee for now. Perhaps the biggest contribution Lee will provide to a struggling Mavs’ offense is his ability to seamlessly fit into the Mavs offense in place of the 37-year old Nowitzki, and give the Mavs main man some much rest. While that may not sound like much right now, it can certainly pay dividends for the Mavs during the closing months of the NBA season. ... and after what we saw Friday at Orlando, they need some help, somehow, somewhere.