To bolster a depleted front court, the San Antonio Spurs have signed veteran center David Lee to a two-year, $3.2 million dollar deal, with a player option for the second season.
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Lee’s Agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed the deal to
“We’ve been talking to the Spurs for quite a while,” Bartelstein said. “There’s a number of places he could have gone and done better economically, but Pop and R.C. (coach Gregg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford) worked hard to let David know how valuable they thought he could be to their team.”
Lee is the eighth player the Spurs have either signed, traded, or drafted this summer; the 2016-17 roster will be the most drastically changed in years. Without Tim Duncan and Boban Marjonovic, San Antonio will rely on the veteran depth of newly acquired Pau Gasol and Lee to pick up the absence in the paint over the next two years.
The two-time All-Star averaged 14.2 points and 9.2 rebounds career. Once the primary offensive threat for the Golden State Warriors, Lee saw diminished playing time after suffering a hamstring injury in 2014, which allowed Draymond Green the opportunity to seize the starting center role in Oakland.
After an unsuccessful stint with the Boston Celtics, he was acquired by the Dallas Mavericks during the final two months of last season, where he made efficient use of limited playing time, averaging 8.5 points and seven rebounds in 17.3 minutes of play.
If healthy, Lee can still be an effective presence off the bench, especially with seizing boards; he is an insurance policy the Spurs desperately needed, eager to pad a bench fraught with injuries, abandoned in free agency, and vacated by retirement.
The Spurs were reportedly in talks to trade Patty Mills and Kyle Anderson to Philly for Jahlil Okafor, but such a move would have filled a need in the front court, only to poke depth holes in the one and two spots.
However, at 33 years old, he makes an aged San Antonio roster even older — an issue exposed in the OKC upset during last season’s playoffs. Despite this, he is more battle tested and knowledgable than Boban, and could spill some intel on his former squad in Golden State.