If you're running the Knicks, you have a tough choice on your hands. You can try to upgrade at point guard before Thursday's deadline and hope to make a run at a playoff berth.
To do so, though, you may have to impact your future cap space.
Your other option? Do nothing before Thursday's trade deadline and essentially wave the white flag on the 2013-14 season.
So, what do you do?
If you want to upgrade at point guard, you can make a run at Toronto's Kyle Lowry. Toronto is unlikely to give Lowry up. But if you include a first-round pick or Tim Hardaway Jr. in a deal, maybe the Raptors change their mind?
The trouble with giving up a lot for Lowry is that he will be a free agent this summer. If the Knicks opted to re-sign him, they'd eat into their cap space for the 2015 summer. They hope to make a run at a max free agent that summer, such as Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Knicks can also try to acquire Atlanta's Jeff Teague. But they'd run into the same issue with Teague. The Hawks point guard is on the books for three more seasons and $24 million after this year.
So bringing Teague on would impact the Knicks' cap space in 2015 as well.
If the Knicks stand pat at the deadline, it puts them on pace to have enough money to add a max free agent in the summer of 2015. They're also projected to have enough money to ink other mid-level free agents that summer. But it leaves them with little chance to make a run at the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, thus all but ensuring a first-round exit -- if they even make the playoffs.
So, if you are Knicks management, what do you do?
Up Now: The Knicks fell a season-low 13 games under .500 after Tuesday's loss to the Grizzlies. They are 3 1/2 games behind Charlotte for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
With the Knicks desperate to upgrade at point guard, they have tried to engage Boston on a deal for Rajon Rondo, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
What's next: The Knicks will play the Pelicans on Wednesday in New Orleans.
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