Warriors two-way guard Damion Lee is playing the best basketball of his career.
He's averaging 18.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals over the last five games, while shooting nearly 55 percent from 3-point territory.
The only problem is that he's used up 34 of the allotted 45 days he's allowed to be with Golden State. So assuming he doesn't practice again -- and suits up for the next 11 contests -- his 45 days will expire after the Warriors' game against the Blazers on Jan. 20.
But as Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Tuesday morning:
Also: Golden State is actively exploring ways to create the needed flexibility to keep Damion Lee on the roster after the 45 days on his two-way deal soon expire. The Warriors have made it clear they want Lee next season but remain hopeful they don't lose him for long this season— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 31, 2019
The "easiest" way to convert Lee to a full-time NBA contract would be to waive Marquese Chriss before his contract becomes fully guaranteed on Jan. 10. But that seems very unlikely because the Warriors have indicated they see the big man as part of the future.
Can't Golden State use its open 15th roster spot to sign Lee? No, because the Dubs are up against the hard cap.
So yes, it's safe to assume that the front office is exploring trades to free up a spot for Lee. And as NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole reported last week, general manager Bob Myers is willing to trade veterans such as Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III and Willie Cauley-Stein (among others).
With the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline still over a month away, it's possible that the Warriors might have to "stash" Lee with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League for a week or two until they clear the path for a roster spot.
If this comes to fruition, it would be surprising if Lee actually plays in any games for the Sea Dubs.
Anything can happen in the NBA, so be prepared for a wild next five weeks.