NBA rumors around the league are already calling the starting five that New York Knicks president Phil Jackson assembled a “scary” team for the 2016-2017 season.
Phil Jackson finalized the starting five through free agency Saturday by inking Courtney Lee to a four-year deal worth approximately $48 million, according to reports from ESPN. In addition to Courtney Lee, Phil Jackson had already lured former Chicago Bulls big man Joakim Noah to sign with the team.
Around the league, several sources have tipped their hats to the job Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks did in free agency this offseason. The New York Post reported one such source, citing an anonymous NBA scout that complimented the team’s newest player in Courtney Lee.
“Solid background, solid character, very good shooter, plays within himself, had a good year for Memphis and Charlotte… He’s still got a couple of good years left. The guy can make shots.”
Welcome to New York, Courtney Lee. pic.twitter.com/C7xu3mm3wr
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 2, 2016
Rant Sports also suggested that the New York Knicks will be a scary team this season as well. The team’s hopes for a deep run in the post-season depend on if Derrick Rose — a player Phil Jackson acquired through a trade — can remain healthy for the entire season, the article explained.
“We all know that Rose has not been the picture of health over the past few seasons, and that was one of the factors that played in the Bulls trading away their former franchise player. But Rose has been working his way back to health and could very well be revitalized in new surroundings.”
Courtney Lee agrees with the team’s outlook. Taking to his Instagram account, the veteran guard posted a picture of the future New York Knicks starting five Phil Jackson assembled with a caption labeling the group as “scary.”
Although the New York Knicks starting five is already earning high praise from sources around the NBA, Phil Jackson has admitted that the Courtney Lee signing is not the end of his plans for this team. However, with so much of the cap already tied up with these five individuals, the New York Knicks cannot complete the vision Phil Jackson has for his team, according to comments he has made in the New York Daily News.
“Not in this [off-season]. I don’t think so. But we’re hopeful. We have interest. We have people we are considering. We are appealing to people’s better interest that we’re a team on the move. I think that helps… That’s pretty much my style anyway. We like the discussions we’re having with the agents. People know our position. They’re willing to give us consideration. That’s good.”
The former Charlotte Hornets player has been described as an excellent catch-and-shoot player that can help the New York Knicks space the floor offensively this year, according to a previous Inquisitr report. But, Courtney Lee may not have been the only candidate the New York Knicks considered as several rumors linked Dwyane Wade as a possible candidate for signing with the NBA franchise.
— Inquisitr Sports (@InquisitrSports) May 21, 2016
Other rumors swirling around the league suggested that Phil Jackson would target either Jeremy Lin or Rajon Rondo to join the New York Knicks. Those rumors did not come to fruition, as both players signed contracts for the 2016-2017 season with other teams.
Courtney Lee will be playing for his seventh team in nine NBA seasons when he join the New York Knicks in 2016-2017. Last season with the Charlotte Hornets, the 30-year-old shooting guard averaged 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 28 starts.
Do you think the New York Knicks will have a scary starting five this season after signing Courtney Lee on Saturday? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]