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Knicks rumors: Courtney Lee wants to be traded to a contender

Courtney Lee

Veteran shooting guard Courtney Lee wants the New York Knicks to trade him to a playoff team or a contender, according to a report from Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Lee, 32, has two years and $25 million left on his contract. The 10-year veteran signed a four-year, $48 million free agent deal with the Knicks in 2016. The Post is also reporting the Knicks have shopped Lee this offseason.

In 76 regular-season games last season for the Knicks, Lee averaged 12.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3. New York wants to create salary cap space so they have more money to spend in the 2019 free agency period. The Knicks are expected to pursue Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving and Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Jimmy Butler should both players decline their 2019-20 player options and enter the open market.

Another reason the Knicks are looking to move Lee is because guard Tim Hardaway Jr. has emerged as the better player moving forward and the organization doesn’t want Lee to take minutes away from Hardaway Jr. New York is still in rebuild mode and it looks like Lee doesn’t want to stick around for it.

Courtney Lee signed with the Knicks in 2016 because he thought the franchise was in “win-now” mode. He was also heavily recruited by center Joakim Noah, ironically. The Knicks are expected to waive Noah before the season starts.

In 753 games in the NBA, Lee has career averages of 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game with the Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets — now Brooklyn NetsHouston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets and Knicks.