What Happened to Lee Nailon?

Lee Nailon played in six NBA seasons for seven different teams before extending his career internationally. The forward averaged 8.6 points and 3.1 rebounds for his NBA career.

Who is Lee Nailon?

Lee Nailon is a former NBA basketball forward known for his scoring prowess. Nailon played for the Hornets, Knicks, Hawks, Magic, Cavs, and Sixers throughout his six-year NBA career.

When Was Lee Nailon Drafted?

Lee Nailon was drafted in the 2nd round (43rd overall) of the 1999 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. 

What College Did Lee Nailon Attend?

Lee Nailon attended Butler Community College before transferring to Texas Christian Univesity (TCU). The future 2nd-round pick averaged over 20 points per game in all three of his college seasons.

Lee Nailon NBA Career


After one year in Italy, Nailon returned to the States to play for the Hornets, who drafted him one year earlier. He played in 49 games, averaging 3.9 points and 2.2 rebounds.


Nailon enjoyed a breakout season in 01-02, averaging 10.8 points and 3.7 rebounds while starting 41 games. The forward played in 79 total games, by far his career-high.


After the Hornets surprisingly waived Nailon, he signed with the New York Knicks for the 02-03 campaign. The former Hornet played in 38 games averaging 5.5 points and 1.8 rebounds.


The 03-04 season was eventful for Nailon, who appeared in 57 total games for three different teams. Overall, Lee averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds and started four games. 

Nailon first signed with the Atlanta Hawks, who waived him in December 2003. Then, he latched on with the Orlando Magic on a pair of 10-day contracts, but they did not renew his contract after the second one. 

Finally, Nailon signed two more 10-day contracts with the Cleveland Cavilers, who then extended his contract for the remainder of the season. Statistically, Nailon’s best success came with the Cavs, where averaged 7.7 points and started four games.


After a good showing with the Cavs, Nailon returned to the Hornets on a 1-year deal. Nailon enjoyed his best statistical season, averaging 14.2 points per game and 4.2 rebounds while starting 51 of 68 total games. 


Despite his excellent season, the Hornets chose not to re-sign Nailon, who opted for another 1-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Lee averaged 4.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 22 games before getting traded back to Cleveland for a conditional 2nd round pick.

Unfortunately, the Cavs waived Nailon just one day after the trade, and the draft pick was never conveyed because Cleveland did not finish with at least the third-best record in the league (a condition of the pick). 

Post-NBA Career

Lee Nailon continued his professional career overseas, where he played an additional eight seasons in seven different countries, including Isreal, Russia, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, Hungary, Argentina, and Mexico.

Nailon made a name for himself internationally, winning the 2006-2007 Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP after leading his Bnei HaSharon to the Israeli Cup final by defeating the mega-favorite Maccabi Tel Aviv.

In 2017, Lee joined Tri-State of The Big 3 League after they drafted him 13th overall. In 2018, the Ghost Ballers drafted Nailon 6th overall. 

What Teams Did Lee Nailon Play For?

In The NBA, Lee Nailon played for The Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Hornets, and Philadelphia 76ers.

Overseas, Nailon played for AX Armani Exchange Milano, Bnei Herzeliya, Lokomotiv Novosybirsk, Leones de Ponce, Quebradillas Pirates, Indios de Mayaguez, Atomeromu SE, Panteras de Aguascalientes, and Weber Bahia.

In The Big 3 League, Nailon played for Tri-State and the Ghost Ballers.

What Position Was Lee Nailon?

Lee Nailon was a Small Forward and Power Forward who some scouts considered a positional tweener. However, scouts agreed on one thing — Lee Nailon could score at will.

Nailon only attempted nine three-pointers throughout his entire NBA career but had superior ball-handling skills to most Power Forwards of his era. Therefore, in the modern NBA game, he is likely considered a Power Forward.

What Was Lee Nailon’s Best NBA Performance?

Nailon’s best individual performance occurred on January 16, 2005, when he scored 32 points with eight rebounds and six assists on 14/20 from the field. However, his New Orleans Hornets team lost to the Raptors 102-99.

Where is Lee Nailon Now? (2021)

Lee Nailon owns a catering company called Dough & Tips with his wife, Gerriana. They offer custom catering, family-style meals, and pickup and delivery. Some of their menu items include rib tips, brisket, and wings.

In addition, Lee Nailon is currently coaching The Fort Worth Funk of The Basketball Tournament. Their active roster features TCU alums Brandon Parrish and Alex Robinson.

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