Rumors circulated on Thursday that the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets were interested in acquiring Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. Well, late Thursday night/early Friday morning word broke that Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan actually blocked a trade for Lowry. Dolan supervises the Knicks’ day-to-day operations and he forced the team to back out at the last minute.
The New York Daily News is reporting that the Knicks actually decided to make a deal for Lowry in the span of about 15 hours, which is lightning speed for a trade to be discussed, hashed out an consummated. But Dolan had second thoughts about acquiring the 27-year-old point guard and was also miffed that details of the proposed trade had leaked to the media.
The Knicks were prepared to trade Raymond Felton and Metta World Peace, plus Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr. or a 2018 first-round pick in exchange for Lowry. The Raptors preferred the first-round pick, but Dolan didn’t like the idea of trading a future draft selection.
Dolan and Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri negotiated the hilariously lopsided Carmelo Anthony trade back when Ujiri was with the Denver Nuggets. Apparently, Dolan was wary of being fleeced by him for a second time.
In February of 2011, Dolan agreed to trade Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Felton, $3 million in cash, a 2014 first-round pick and two second round picks to the Nuggets for Anthony and Chauncey Billups. Donnie Walsh, who was the Knicks president at the time, felt the asking price was far too high and that New York should wait until the trade deadline to put more pressure on Denver. Instead, Dolan took over negotiations and completed the deal.
Knicks brass reportedly met Wednesday night after the team’s win over the Chicago Bulls and decided to move forward with the trade. But by early Thursday afternoon Dolan was backing down.
The Knicks would like to keep Hardaway Jr., since he was the team’s first-round pick this year and they believe he has a bright future. That said, New York would love to dump World Peace’s contract, since he has a player option for the 2014-15 season.
But the Knicks will have to give up something of value to get Lowry, and that means Shumpert, Hardaway Jr. or a first-round pick will have to go.
Lowry is in his second season with the Raptors and in 20 contests this season he has averaged 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 36.5 minutes per game.
The Knicks’ uncertainty has opened the door for the Nets who are also very interested in acquiring Lowry.