The Celtics want David Lee to be an impact player after he accepted a reduced role with the Warriors last season during their championship run, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com reports. Lee, who was acquired from the Warriors during the summer, averaged 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game just two seasons ago, Forsberg points out. “I was very honest with the media last year. If I wasn’t frustrated there was probably something wrong with me,” Lee said during the team’s media day on Monday. “I got injured to start the season; it wasn’t like I lost my job. I got injured and the team went, I think, 19-2 to start the year and, if you’re a rookie head coach and your team is 19-2, I think the last thing you want to do is disrupt the starting lineup.” Boston is also looking for Lee to be a leader, Forsberg adds.
In other news around the Atlantic Division:
- Carmelo Anthony is convinced that Knicks president Phil Jackson still has faith in him as his franchise player, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports. Anthony doesn’t believe his window for a championship is closing or that his career is in decline because of knee issues, Bondy adds. “Even though you guys might not write about it, I think Phil still believes in me,” Anthony said during the team’s media day. “And that goes without even being said because I’m still here. For him to start this process with me, being the centerpiece of this, I respect that and I don’t want to let him down because I know that him putting me at the centerpiece of this is very big.”
- Nets rookie power forward Chris McCullough will return to the court sometime in January, coach Lionel Hollins told Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (Twitter link) and the assembled media in Brooklyn. McCullough, who suffered a torn right ACL in January playing for Syracuse University, is playing it safe with his rehab and does not know of any timetable, Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com adds in a tweet.
- Anthony Bennett expected most of the summer that the Timberwolves would work a buyout deal with him and that he would join the Raptors, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets, adding that Bennett is looking forward to the fresh start. Raptors GM Masai Ujiri couldn’t pass up on the opportunity, according to Eric Koreen of the National Post (Twitter link).“For us to get a Canadian 22-year-old power forward that is athletic and can play at the minimum? We’ll take it,” Masai told Koreen.