Being quite limited in their cap space as they try to upgrade for a possible title challenge, the Golden State Warriors are trying to shop around David Lee, especially looking at the Portland Trail Blazers, hoping that LaMarcus Aldridge is included in that deal.
While Lee is an All-Star player, averaging 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds last season, there’s a good chance the Warriors are a better team without him on the court as the playoffs partially proved, especially due to his defensive problems, both in the half-court game and in transition.
LaMarcus Aldridge has stated he didn’t ask to be traded by the Blazers, but just like the Chicago Bulls, other teams, including the Warriors, are trying to put their hands on the excellent power forward, averaging 21.1 points per game last season.
It’s a lot about contract. Lee has great numbers, but he’s also signed on a deal that gives him $44.3 million for the next three years, which limits the Warriors greatly as they try to find a way to do better than a conference semifinal from last season. The great job done by Harrison Barnes playing at power forward and the ability to use Draymond Green at that position as well gives the Warriors depth and talent allowing them to shop Lee, if there are buyers.
Aldridge has a contract worth $30.3 million for the next couple of seasons, but he’s probably the better player on both ends of the floor, not to mention younger by three years. The Warriors have offered the Blazers a deal that includes Brandon Rush in it, coming off a season long injury, which at the moment, like the rest of the offers made at Aldridge, has been declined.
Lee also has an injury issue, having surgery on a torn hip flexor. It’s not usually an injury that causes a decline for a player, but Lee is entering ninth NBA season and fourth decade of his life, which makes taking him for that kind of money slightly risky and probably not too economical.