ORLANDO, Fla. — The Knicks filled their need for a starting shooting guard and rounded out their first unit by reaching an agreement with veteran Courtney Lee on Saturday. “I’m just happy to be a part of the Mecca,” Lee said in a text.
Lee will get a four-year, $48-million deal, a league source said. Teams can’t sign players or announce deals until the free-agent moratorium is lifted Thursday.
Knicks president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills have been very productive in the first two days of free agency. They locked up center Joakim Noah for four years and $72 million Friday and came to terms with Lee on Saturday evening.
The Knicks now have a starting five of Lee, Noah, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. If that group can stay healthy, they should be good enough to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks didn’t reach the postseason the past three years.
Lee, 30, is a solid professional and plays both ends of the court.
The 6-5 guard has averaged 9.6 points and shot 45.0 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from three-point range in eight seasons. Lee, a one-time Net, averaged 9.6 points for the Grizzlies and Hornets last season.
The Knicks still have plenty of work to do. This move gives them seven players under contract. Kyle O’Quinn and Justin Holiday, acquired in the Rose deal, are the other two.
The Knicks still have eight roster spots to fill and have used up most of the roughly $31 million they had available in free agency on Noah and Lee. They have about $3 million left. The Knicks also can use the room exception ($2.898 million) to sign players.