by Marcel Mutoni

As everyone and their grandmother knows, the New York Knickerbockers are doing everything they can to have as much cap space as humanly possible for next summer’s free agent bonanza.

This is very bad news for David Lee’s and his bank account, one of their most popular (and productive) players.

The restricted free agent forward is upset with how contract negotiations have gone with the Knicks, and he wouldn’t be entirely shocked should he end up wearing a different uniform next season. ESPN reports:

Speaking publicly for the first time since becoming a free agent on July 1, a clearly frustrated Lee gave a strong indication that he expects to be dealt to another team before the start of the 2009-10 season.

“At the start of this process I was really excited to be in New York, I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to work something out, but now we’re forced to start looking at different options with sign-and trades and stuff like that,” Lee said. “I’m sure it’s going to be something we’re not expecting, it’s going to be something that’s very complicated. But my gut would be that it’s going to be difficult at this point to get a long-term deal done with New York, that’s my gut. But my gut changes about every three hours, so I really have no idea.”

One of Lee’s main suitors is the Portland Trailblazers, one of the few teams in the League with the money to sign him to a long-term deal. But, hey, good news Knicks fans: Jamaal Tinsley may be on his way home. Rejoice!

Man, should the Knicks lose out on Lee, they better make next summer really count. Otherwise, well, they’ll be back to being … the Knicks. Never mind.