We are, as I write this, about 72 hours from the NBA trade deadline. Unless the Knicks can swing something big, they're likely to pass through Thursday without having done anything. Maybe they'll get a little asset in return for Beno Udrih and/or Metta World Peace. Maybe not. They're trying for that big swing, though, even if they're just hacking wildly at whatever they see. Here's a thing from today:
Have also heard this ... MT @ESPNSteinLine: Knicks' focus leading into trade deadline is PG. Word is Atlanta's Jeff Teague intrigues them— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 17, 2014
There are issues if Knicks make full-on play for Teague, who has right of first refusal on any trade after Hawks matched offer sheet in July— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 17, 2014
Here's where I remind you the Knicks are somehow still coached by Mike Woodson, who used to coach the Hawks.
Also: Teague not only must approve any trade but also owns long-term deal that slices into Knicks' projected flexibility for summer of 2015— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 17, 2014
But Knicks said to be investigating all PG options since they're convinced top target Kyle Lowry is NOT available between now and Thursday— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 17, 2014
"Hi, this is Steve."
"The president of basketball operations of the Knicks of New York."
"Oh? Glen...Oh, right. Okay? Steve. Hi. How can I help you, Steve?"
"Give us Jeff Teague"
"On the Knicks. We would like to have Jeff Teague to play for our Knicks basketball team. We need a point guard. Raymond Felton sucks."
"Well, we like Jeff. We're on our way to the playoffs and he's our starting point guard."
"But we want him. The Knicks. New York Knicks. Give Jeff Teague."
"Well, I mean, do you want to make a trade offer?"
"Jeff Teague. Give."
"Yes, you want Jeff Teague. I understand. I'm looking at your roster and salaries, and I just don't think this is a match. We're not really trying to trade Jeff anyway, but you just don't have anything we'd ever want in return. Do you have any picks...ever? Jeez."
"Okay so is that a yes? Jeff Teague."
"No, I'm sorry."
"What? He's not on our team."
I don't think that one's happening. It makes sense that the Knicks want a point guard (and, as Isola mentions, Andre Miller's still out there, though...eh), but they just don't have much to deal, and this season feels pretty lost anyway. Might not be worth it. And there is the issue, as Stein mentions, of the future and finding people with contracts who won't obstruct long-term goals. I'm not sure how much the Knicks are actually thinking about all that, though. I have no idea what they're thinking. I'm of the opinion that, if anything, New York should be trading people for assets, not assets for people. Unless they're quietly entertaining offers for Tyson Chandler, that doesn't seem to be the plan.
Update: The Teague thing being a play for Lowry makes a tiny bit more sense. Interesting, but still unlikely, I'd imagine:
Recent reports have stated the Raptors in fact are no longer willing to deal Lowry, content to see how the rest of the season plays out. Lowry has been one of Toronto's best players, and dealing him would send a bad message to the fanbase.
One scenario to keep an eye on here, though, is the possibilty of a three-team deal also involving the Hawks and point guard Jeff Teague. Atlanta has all of its first-round picks in the next four drafts and could conceivably send one to Toronto to satisfy the Raptors' demand for a future draft pick.
League sources say a scenario in which Teague ends up in Toronto, Shumpert goes to Atlanta and Lowry winds up in New York has been discussed. Another scenario could have Teague ending up in New York. The conversations are believed to be preliminary and have not reached an advanced stage.
I'm still not really seeing why Atlanta would be into this, though as Begley mentions, there are rumors that Atlanta GM Danny Ferry isn't as big a fan of Teague and his contract as the above 100% real dialogue suggests. That could play into it.