Considering the heated preseason debate over whether or not taking Channing Frye with the eighth overall pick of last year’s draft was a good idea (in retrospect, that didn’t work out too badly, both for the Knicks and for fantasy owners who took a flyer on the rookie), it’s not surprising that fellow freshman David Lee, the last player taken in the opening round, didn’t draw much attention. And in 2005, Lee indeed toiled in obscurity, receiving inconsistent playing time and scoring just 57 points in all of November and December – the equivalent of about five quarters of Kobe Bryant during his current hot streak. But that, as they say, was last year…
Since the big ball dropped in Times Square, Lee has been a spark plug for New York, connecting on 15 of 17 field goal attempts and averaging 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest (although those numbers are somewhat inflated by his 51 minutes of playing time in his team’s triple-overtime win over Phoenix on January 2). With the Florida product in the starting five, the Knicks have rolled to three straight wins for the first time in the Larry Brown era. Lee has played a key role in those victories with opportunistic board work and a nice finishing touch, although his boxing out and free throw skills (58.1% on the season) could still use a bit of work.
For now, it’s still too early to pick Lee up in all but the deepest fantasy leagues, but it’s well worth adding him to your fantasy radar. It looks like the rookie made some pretty powerful New Year’s resolutions, and if he continues to start, he could be worth a roster spot soon.
Questions or comments for Arlo? Post them in the Cafe Forums!
Want to write for the Cafe? Check out the Cafe's Pencil & Paper section!