Throughout last week, there have been trade rumors speculating around Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry going to the Knicks for some kind of package deal, including Iman Shumpert (for like the 35932856th time), Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace, and possibly Tim Hardaway Jr, along with the usual dealing of draft picks. As much as I like Kyle Lowry, ever since his inception into the league with the Grizzlies, I don’t want this trade to happen.
Once again, James Dolan (it’s weird using him as the GM, but he really is, unfortunately) and MSG brass are trying to make amends/getting hypnotized by Masai Ujiri again if one of these alternated package deals go through. I’m still trying to fathom the macabre idea of giving valuable assets that could be the precious future.
The most the Knicks will get out of Lowry is a short-term enhancement at the point guard position, for essentially the remainder of this year. There is a faction of Knicks fans that believe Lowry is a good enough point guard to lead the Knicks to the distant NBA title, which had me laughing harder than Lloyd from Dumb And Dumber, considering the current roster as constructed. If this was last year’s Knicks, then this would be a great deal, but Raymond Felton, who is now currently injured for another week or two, has been mediocre at best when he has filled the shoes of the starter to begin with.
Don’t get me wrong, though; Lowry has always been a pretty solid point guard. The 2010-11 season was a bright one for him; he was incredibly fun to watch with the Rockets, the same time when Luis Scola still had a lethal mid-range stroke, with Shane Battier playing swarming defense (he still is) before departing for Miami the following offseason. Lowry is having a decent season so far this year, averaging just over 14 points and just under 7 assists a contest.
But here’s where the deal doesn’t gel for the Knicks: As I said above, the constant speculation around trading Iman Shumpert and draft picks is— actually— has been ridiculous. People will say the Knicks can trade away the 2018, 2019, or 2020 pick, because they’re light years away from now. Even if the first round picks are four to six years from now, stockpiling assets is just as important as having a superstar player. And besides, the mid 2010s first and second round picks are all almost gone. This year’s pick, as you may know, was traded away in the Carmelo Anthony deal that brought in him here, and the 2016 first rounder is what Masai Ujiri seized from the front office over last summer for Andrea Bargnani. Miraculously, the Knicks have their 2015 first rounder, unless that gets traded in this unnecessary would be trade rumor if it happened.
At $6.2M, Lowry is on an expiring deal this year. It would be a total waste of time and breath to try and re-sign him and let him go next offseason. Assuming he would sign a long term deal, then that pick that would go to Toronto for him can’t be used towards for, in this case, a future point guard. And, of course, if he walks, then tough luck, although, it’s tough luck either way.
This goes back to possible trade pieces Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. Last year, if the Knicks were to deal Shump, then there would’ve been absolutely, zilch, nada, youth/development on that team. If he were to go, then bye bye perimeter defense, because he’s essentially the only good perimeter defender on the team, with the exception of Metta World Peace on occasion. Hardaway has been good as of recent, knocking down threes in the right situations, and he has showcased his underrated passing abilities. There are even some people that think he should be starting. Just as things are starting to sound good, a trade rumor pops up. Figures…
In a league where the CBA is so restrictive on big money, favoring rookie contracts, it only requires an understanding of common sense to not trade away potentially breakout assets. No matter if the outcome is boom or bust, even if they’re early second round picks, having assets is a mammoth amount of importance. The very inestimable 2015 is almost here, where Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and the big elephant in the room (not as of recent) Amare Stoudemire will all be off the books, while Shump and Hardaway will still remain Knicks, as they display the only pliancy the Knicks would have from the past couple of years at that point.
Please, pretty please, front office. Pass on this hullabaloo. Just wait for 2015.