David Lee makes it all the way up to No. 5 on our list of the top 10 Golden State Warriors since 2000. Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s pretty clear that the last decade hasn’t exactly been chock-full of talent for the Dubs.
I’ll admit I’m a little biased against David Lee. Actually, it’s nothing personal with Lee; it’s just players like him—the ones that pile up plenty of superficial statistics without really making a meaningful impact on a team’s record—that rub me the wrong way. I’ve been pretty rough on Lee. Just check out this and this for evidence of my anti-David Lee agenda.
Still, Lee manages to check in at the fifth spot in this list because, well, there aren’t too many better options. Lee gutted out a grisly injury in his first season with the Dubs, despite suffering a gnarly infection from his run-in with Wilson Chandler’s tooth. So he gets credit for that. There’s no question his cosmetic stats (points and rebounds) look good. He averaged 20.1 points and 9.6 boards last year. More importantly, he’s shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of his two seasons with the Warriors.
Overall, Lee is a very talented, but somewhat flawed player. He’s not a star, but he is a viable NBA starter who’ll look a lot better next to a legitimate center who can help cover up for some of his defensive deficiencies. Lee will have an opportunity to improve his overall efficiency this year, as he’ll probably play fewer minutes overall with Carl Landry and Draymond Green capable of backing him up.
Lee’s a pretty good player who’s stood out in the past because he’s been surrounded with sub-par talent…which is basically how he’s managed to make it to No. 5 here.