Sources: Lee to receive 1-year deal

Updated: September 4, 2009, 4:45 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand |

The New York Knicks expect to sign restricted free agent David Lee to a one-year contract at some point after Labor Day, officials familiar with the talks said Friday.

David Lee


Knicks president Donnie Walsh said he doesn't think a Lee sign-and-trade is possible. Even though the Knicks like Lee, Walsh said he is not interested in signing the forward to a long-term contract at this point; he wants to maintain as much payroll flexibility as possible for next summer, when LeBron James, Chris Bosh and other prominent players will be free agents.

"We can't get a deal" for Lee, Walsh said.

Contract discussions are expected to heat up next week. Many league officials think the deal will fall in the $6 million-to-$8 million range, but the two sides will exchange more concrete numbers soon. Lee could be rewarded more generously since it will be just a one-year contract.

The only way the deal with Lee wouldn't get done is if another team offers the Knicks a sign-and-trade scenario for a player the Knicks like at least as much as Lee and who still allows for future financial flexibility.

No sign-and-trades have materialized at this point, and Walsh doesn't expect any. There is also a good chance that guard Nate Robinson will return to the Knicks on a one-year deal as well, Walsh said.

Andrew Marchand is the managing editor for 1050 ESPN New York.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »