4 BITS: Florida Gators F/C David Lee traded from Golden State Warriors to Boston Celtics

1 » Former Florida Gators forward/center David Lee had a rough year as a member of the Golden State Warriors. On a max contract, Lee was relegated to a bench role and did not see significant minutes until late in the 2015 NBA Playoffs when his presence was needed to help lead Golden State to a title. With one year and $15.5 million remaining on Lee’s six-year deal, the Warriors and Lee mutually agreed to a parting of ways this offseason, which has resulted in the player being traded to the Boston Celtics. According to basketball writer Tommy Dee, who first reported the trade, Lee’s former team (the New York Knicks) was also considering bringing Lee back in the fold at some point but a three-way trade was unable to materialize. ESPN has also reported Lee’s trade, noting that he was exchanged for Gerald Wallace.

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4 BITS: Spikes pleads guilty, Gators in NBA

1 » Former Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident that occurred on a highway in Massachusetts on June 7. Spikes, who was released the very next day by the New England Patriots and remains an NFL free agent one month later, was issued one year of probation along with fines and the loss of his driver’s license, according to WBZ 1030 News Radio. Putting the issue to bed was important for Spikes, who should wind up on a team at some point this offseason. While limited, he is still at least a two-down contributor as one of the highest-graded run-stopping linebackers in the league.

2 » Giving Gators point guard Nick Calathes the opportunity to play in the NBA after the player started his career overseas, the Memphis Grizzlies continue to make a concerted effort to hold on to the reserve floor general. The Grizzlies decided to make Calathes a qualifying offer, turning him into a restricted free agent and allowing Memphis the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with a team. Though rumors have Calathes interested in going back overseas for significantly more money and a greater role on a team, he has not given any indication that he plans to leave the United States at this time.

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4 BITS: Florida Gators to take on Oklahoma State in 2015 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic

1 » Florida Gators basketball was previously announced to be participating in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic for the 15th time in the last 16 seasons, but its opponent for the 2015 event was not announced until earlier this week. Florida will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second game of the event, which will be led off with a showdown between Florida State and Florida Atlantic. UF is 2-0 all-time against OSU with the schools not meeting since 2000. The Gators are 14-2 all-time in the event, which will be held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, on Dec. 19.

The rest of Florida’s announced 2015-16 nonconference slate includes a season opener against Navy in the 2015 Veterans Classic on Friday, Nov. 13 in Annapolis Maryland, and a spot in the 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. The latter event includes two home games (North Carolina A&T – Nov. 16, Vermont – Nov. 25) and two neutral-site contests (Saint Joseph’s – Nov. 21, Old Dominion/Purdue – Nov. 22). UF will also play at Miami in the second game of a home-and-home series, and it will host West Virginia on Jan. 30, 2016 in the third annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Reports out of Fort Myers have the Gators taking on FGCU on Nov. 27 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, and early offseason rumors noted that Florid and Michigan State were discussing a home-and-home series that could begin next season.

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Florida Gators in the 2015 NBA Finals: David Lee, Marreese Speights win rings with Warriors

For the fifth-straight season and seventh time since 2006, at least one former Florida Gators basketball player has ended the NBA season as a champion.

The Golden State Warriors knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-2 in the 2015 NBA Finals on Tuesday night, earning championship rings for former Gators forwards/centers David Lee and Marreese Speights.

Falling short of his third ring was guard/forward Mike Miller, who won back-to-back titles as a contributor with Miami in 2012 and 2013 but saw limited action in this year’s series.

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David Lee’s contributions once again saving Golden State Warriors, this time in NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr probably should have figured this out in the Western Conference Semifinals against Memphis, but the insertion of former Florida Gators power forward David Lee into his lineup late in Game 3 of the NBA Finals keyed a turnaround for the team that has resulted in the series now being tied at 2-2.

Lee, a two-time NBA All-Star relegated to a reserve role with Golden State this season, has taken his demotion in stride, buying into the team concept and helping the Warriors whenever possible.

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Florida Gators in 2015 NBA Playoffs: 3 in Finals

Ten of the 11 former Florida Gators basketball players in NBA advanced to the league’s postseason for the 2014-15 season. The Gators were represented on nine of the 16 playoff teams with four starters and six reserves active for competition. The 10 total UF players in the postseason marked the most of any school this year.

Three have since advanced to the 2015 NBA Finals, representing both of the teams remaining in the field. As such, a former Florida player is guaranteed to win the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season.

OnlyGators.com breaks down how each player fared during the Conference Finals as well as their respective outlooks going forward.

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Florida Gators in NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals

With the 2014-15 NBA Playoffs underway, 10 of the 11 former Florida Gators basketball players in the league advanced to the postseason. The Gators were represented on nine of the 16 playoff teams with four starters and six reserves active for competition. The 10 total UF players in the postseason marked the most of any school this year.

Five have since advanced to the Conference Finals round, representing all four of the teams remaining in the field. As such, a former Gators player is guaranteed to win the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season.

OnlyGators.com breaks down how each player fared during the Conference Semifinals as well as their respective outlooks going forward.

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Florida Gators in the 2015 NBA Playoffs: Conference Semifinals

With the 2014-15 NBA Playoffs underway, 10 of the 11 former Florida Gators basketball players in the league advanced to the postseason. The Gators were represented on nine of the 16 playoff teams with four starters and six reserves active for competition. The 10 total UF players in the postseason marked the most of any school this year.

Seven have since advanced to the second round. OnlyGators.com breaks down how each player fared during round one as well as their respective outlooks going forward.

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