The deal is worth approximately $48 million, sources say, with all four years guaranteed. Basketball Insiders first reported Lee's decision to agree with the team.
Lee, 30, has played for six different teams in eight NBA seasons. He averaged 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30.2 minutes per game in 28 appearances -- all starts -- for the Charlotte Hornets in 2015-16. He was acquired from the Grizzlies in a three-team swap at the February trade deadline.
Lee's deal with the Knicks "would not have happened without Joakim Noah," a source close to Lee told Begley. Lee had several offers to decide from and chose New York in part because of Noah's recruitment. The free-agent center and the Knicks agreed Friday on a four-year, $72 million deal, league sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
"Courtney understands what playing for the New York Knicks means," the source said. "He wanted to play in New York, and Joakim Noah was instrumental in recruiting him. Would not have happened without Joakim. Courtney couldn't be more excited."
The Knicks had also showed interest in guards Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers and Evan Turner, sources say. Rivers agreed to a three-year, $35 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Clippers, sources told Shelburne, shortly after Lee agreed with the Knicks. Gordon reached a 4-year, $53 million agreement with the Houston Rockets, sources confirmed to ESPN's Chris Broussard.
Lee earned a raise during a summer in which contracts increased due to a salary-cap increase. He earned $5.7 million in the final year of a four-year, $21 million deal he originally signed as part of a sign-and-trade swap that delivered him to the Celtics in July 2012. Lee spent little more than a season in Boston before being traded to Memphis in January 2014.
Lee started all seven of the Hornets' games in the 2016 playoffs, averaging 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists over 36.7 minutes per contest. He shot 44.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, but only 41.2 percent from the floor overall.
Lee, the 22nd pick of the Orlando Magic in the 2008 draft, is the quintessential 3-and-D player. He has shot 38.4 percent on 3s in his career.