Courtney Lee does not want to be traded from the New York Knicks—at least not right now.
On Tuesday night, the New York Post‘s Marc Berman reported that the soon-to-be 33-year-old swingman would rather play for a contender:
According to an NBA source, Lee’s preference if he gets traded is to be dealt to a playoff team or a contender. It’s an understandable wish formulated during an offseason spent in Orlando and Los Angeles as he saw the Knicks franchise’s youthful direction.
The Knicks are trying to trade Lee because of his age (32) and long-term contract. The Knicks want to ship Lee to open up more cap space for 2019. Lee has $12.2 million remaining on his deal.
This wouldn’t be an unreasonable stance for Lee to assume. The Knicks’ window does not jibe with his own timeline, and his playing time could suffer as a result. Right now, he projects as a backup to Tim Hardaway Jr.
But Lee apparently has no desire to leave New York. ESPN.com’s Ian Begley came with the swift rebuke shortly after this news broke:
On the reports that Courtney Lee wants the be traded from the Knicks: Lee has not expressed a desire to be moved. In a conversation with ESPN, Lee refuted the idea that he prefers to be traded. He says he’s happy being a Knick & looking forward to starting training camp next week