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Saturday, January 11, 2014
Trade dispatch from D-League Showcase

By Marc Stein

RENO, Nev. -- A few quickie dribbles of trade chatter coming out of the D-League Showcase ... with 40 days to go until the NBA’s Feb. 20 trade deadline:

•  For the first time, there are certifiable rumbles emanating from Toronto suggesting that the Raptors might well keep point guard Kyle Lowry for the rest of the season. Word is new GM Masai Ujiri continues to resist locking into any sort of firm position -- leaving open the possibility of a Lowry deal if the offers suddenly get sweeter -- but team officials appear to be growing increasingly comfortable with the idea that it’s better to go for what would be just Toronto's third playoff berth in 13 seasons rather than try to do the absolute uber-tanking it would take from here for the 17-17 Raps to get into Andrew Wiggins range now.

•  You’ll recall that the Knicks were originally at the front of the queue trying to trade for Lowry in mid-December when the Raps were shopping him hard in the wake of the Rudy Gay deal with Sacramento. The Knicks are now said to want to work their way into the bidding for Denver’s very available Andre Miller, but the same problem that doomed New York in the Lowry chase a month ago -- limited assets to offer -- doesn’t bring much hope.

•  The Knicks continue to get calls for center Tyson Chandler and, according to sources close to the situation, continue to scoff at every one. New York, to this point, has no interest in parting with its defensive anchor. (Which is smart if the Knicks are set on re-signing Carmelo Anthony to that megadeal this summer.)

•  Orlando, meanwhile, continues to give the same stiff-arm to teams registering interest in shooting guard Arron Afflalo. The difference there, though, is that some rival clubs aren't convinced that the Magic’s stance is as absolute as the Knicks’ stance is with Chandler. Has Afflalo played well enough, in this breakout half-season, that the Magic will eventually be offered a first-round pick closer to the deadline that can pry Afflalo loose? The reality is that no one is giving up first-round picks these days -- such is the lure of the 2014 draft -- but 40 days is a long time.

•  How badly did the Oklahoma City Thunder want to shed Ryan Gomes’ contract for the right to move nearly $2.3 million away from the luxury-tax threshold and give themselves sufficient wiggle room to make a trade that makes a difference this season? As USA Today’s Sam Amick reported Friday night, OKC surrendered a cash payment of a tidy $1.1 million as part of the three-way trade with Memphis and Boston in which the Celtics took on Gomes’ deal and then immediately waived him.