Unlike most player absences, Lee isn’t dealing with an injury, or anything impacting his ability to play. He’s simply out of days remaining on his two-way contract, and the team has yet to finalize a multi-year guaranteed deal for him. Until he receives his contract, he’s not allowed to suit up.
Lee and the Warriors have been working on guaranteeing his contract for about a week, ever since the team waived Marquese Chriss to open up the requisite cap space. The sharpshooter has played twice since then - on Wednesday vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, and on Friday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers - but those represented his final days of two-way eligibility. Since then, he’s been unable to play or practice.
It’s unclear if the delay in signing a guaranteed contract is due to the two sides still hammering out final details, or Golden State simply wanting to get a few extra dollars under the cap by holding off on the signing for a few extra days, though it’s likely the latter.
Either way, the deadline to sign new two-way contracts is on Wednesday, which means Lee needs to be converted by then if the team wishes to replace the vacant two-way spot that he’ll leave behind.
Damion Lee still listed as out for tomorrow's home game vs Dallas, as Warriors inch a bit more below the hard cap. Should be his last game missed before signing NBA deal. Team needs to get him on roster by Wednesday to add another two-way player in place.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 13, 2020
Lee has had a strong year for the Warriors, and has played his way into the team’s long-term plans. In 26 games - including 13 starts - he’s averaging 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game, while shooting 36.0% from beyond the arc.