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.