New York Knicks: Looking back at the David Lee sign-and-trade

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In this latest edition of New York Knicks Trade History, a look back at the sign-and-trade that sent David Lee to the Golden State Warriors in 2010.

In 2010, the New York Knicks worked their way towards salary cap space for free agency. They built towards this for years, tearing down the roster to acquire players with expiring contracts for that summer’s class.

One departure was David Lee, who just came off his best season with the Knicks. He was involved in a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors. How did the deal transpire for all the players involved?

What the Knicks traded

The Knicks let Lee walk in free agency, as they prepped to use their cap space for Amar’e Stoudemire. Both players were All-Stars, but the latter had the consistency as an offensive force in the NBA.

The Warriors signed Lee to a five-year contract. To complete it, though, they sent pieces to the Knicks.

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Lee spent the next five seasons in Northern California, playing alongside the early Stephen CurryMonta Ellis teams. This was mostly before Steve Kerr took over as head coach, but the Florida product still had 18.2 points and 10 rebounds per game beforehand.

In 2015, the Warriors made the NBA Finals, but Lee only played 49 games that season, taking a reduced role to just four starts, as well. They won the championship, and he received his ring, but that ended his time with the organization.

What the Knicks acquired

The Knicks received three players and two draft picks, so there was a chance at recouping something for Lee.

Kelenna Azubuike flashed promise in his last two years with the Warriors, including 14.4 points and 44.8 percent three-point shooting in 2008-09. A knee injury caused him to never play a game for New York, however. He returned with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011-12, but for just three games, and never appeared in the NBA again.

Anthony Randolph was a high-upside player entering the NBA in 2008. An athletic 6-foot-10 forward, he had the physical tools, but failed to put it all together in Golden State. The same happened in just 17 games with the Knicks, before being sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the multi-team Carmelo Anthony trade.

Ronny Turiaf spent just one season with the Knicks but had the most success of any player. He appeared in 64 games, averaging 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks as a reserve. After that season, he bounced between four teams in four years.

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Golden State sent 2012 and 2013 second-round picks, which became Quincy Miller and Romero Osby, respectively. Neither Miller or Osby was selected by the Knicks, who traded these selections before they were made.