The Kyle Lowry trade is, for now, off. Here is a new thread to talk about that, which I will update with updates until the updates become big enough for a new thread. Much of this is cannibalized from the thread late last night:
Frank Isola hears the details of James Dolan's reported interference with the Kyle Lowry trade talks. Steve Mills and company were reportedly ready to trade "Raymond Felton and Metta World Peace plus Iman Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr. or a 2018 first-round pick" (emphasis mine) to the Raptors for Lowry and the Raptors reportedly chose the pick, and things were all set for Sunday, but Dolan shot it all down because he got "cold feet" about trading a youthful asset to Masai Ujiri. He was also pissed the story leaked.
Felton/World Peace/Person or Asset the Raptors Might Actually Want wasn't anything more than what we'd been hearing, but evidently it offended Dolan after it dawned on him that that same guy keeps snaggling his draft picks. I don't mind the Knicks not making this trade, though I worry that whatever trade comes-- and it does still feel like there will be some trade, even without the Raptors, doesn't it?-- will be worse than any of the deals above. Kyle Lowry's pretty good, and if the Knicks simply must trade Iman Shumpert (or any youthful entity, apparently), I reckon 60 games of Lowry and the chance to sign him with Bird rights this summer is as useful a return as they'll get, and preferable to having Felton on the roster through his 2015 player option. Is the difference between the two worth giving up Shump or Hardaway or a first-rounder (and Metta World Peace, by the way, who is a real person)? My inclination is to say no-- particularly for Hardaway or the pick-- but again, the Knicks are capable of doing muuuuch worse trades. James Dolan's newfound thrift and restraint (violent restraint, but restraint) in dealings with Masai Ujiri do not necessarily amount to thrift and restraint in other dealings.
Of course, nobody's forcing New York to do a trade right now. They could keep Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr. AND their 2018 first-rounder and have those entities to look forward to in coming years! (Shump would have to be re-signed soonest and may already be disgruntled beyond repair, which is why if the Knicks do make this kind of trade, I prefer he be the sacrifice.) If ditching Felton is a goal*, they could probably send him out for a modest return package, like a scaled-down version of what the Raptors are trying to get for Lowry. And generally a team in the Knicks' position would be trying to do just that-- trading names for parts, not parts for names-- but I suspect that at 6-15, with injuries piling up and a coach struggling mightily, the Knicks are still shooting for the moon THIS season.
The rumors we hear of New York's negotiations rarely betray a clear, unified plan. The fact that the front office was on the verge of a deal before the owner stormed in suggests there might not be a clear, unified plan. With that as context, it's pretty difficult to appraise any of the deals the Knicks are considering! I will keep y'all abreast of any updates. And at some point I'd like to post some regular ol' links. And maybe do some laundry.
(*Side note: This is where we remember that Raymond Felton's contract, now being regarded as an onerous and trade-worthy quantity, was not foisted upon the Knicks. They went out of their way to acquire it in 2012 by giving the Blazers a couple small contracts, the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Georgios Printezis, and a protected second-rounder. And, you know, some other stuff happened around then, too. This has been a side note.)
Update (2:11 PM): This could just be the Raptors teasing the Knicks, but:
Knicks front office regrouping on Kyle Lowry with Dolan, but Nets gaining traction as a possibility to land point guard, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 13, 2013
Raptors are still talking with several teams on a possible trade for Lowry, and nothing is imminent.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 13, 2013
Update (2:49 PM): This, from Marc Berman, is not what we've been reading elsewhere:
The Knicks thought they had a potential for a deal with an offer of Felton, Metta World Peace’s contract and a 2018 first-round pick, but the Raptors are insisting impressive rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. be added to the mix to replace World Peace. The Knicks feel they got a steal in Hardaway with the No. 24 pick in the draft.
Update (4:10 PM): Woj says the Nets (and others) are legitimately in this, and also says Knicks executives are pushing James Dolan to get a deal done:
The Knicks are desperate for a point guard, and their front office had a deal together that would've sent Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace and a 2018 first-round pick for Lowry.
The Knicks' front office is determined to re-enter talks on Lowry, league sources said, but it is unclear how they will try to amend a trade package – or whether they're willing to return the original offer to the table. Without the future first-round pick, there's little chance of the Knicks landing Lowry, sources said.