Courtney Lee has agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the Knicks.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 2, 2016
The Hornets acquired Lee in a midseason, three-team trade that saw P.J. Hairston and two second round picks sent to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for the veteran guard. Lee immediately became a starter for head coach Steve Clifford's team, and his steady play proved to be a considerable upgrade over the good-effort-but-good-overall play of Hairston.
Lee averaged 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 30.2 minutes per game for the Hornets.
The Hornets knew that retaining Lee would be difficult this summer, as he'd likely command more than they'd be able to spend. His minutes would also dwindle with the eventual return of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, assuming the Hornets were able to re-sign Nicolas Batum.
The team quickly began looking into smaller guards to mitigate the probable losses of Lee and Jeremy Lin. Lin agreed to a three-year, $36 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets yesterday.
With most known commodities off the board, the Hornets will probably need to take a chance on a player that hasn't played in a big role. They've reportedly expressed interest in guard Tyler Johnson already, and that's roughly the type of player they're looking for to replace Lee.
Thanks for the good times, Courtney. Best of luck in New York.