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Friday, December 13, 2013
Opening Tip: Dissecting a deal for Lowry

By Ian Begley

Publicly, Mike Woodson says he doesn't see the Knicks making a trade anytime soon.

"We've got to coach the guys we have in uniform," he said Thursday on the ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith Show." "... Nobody's going to help the Knicks out to make a big blockbuster trade."

But privately, the Knicks seem to be working the phones in search of a deal.

Raymond Felton
With Raymond Felton out 2-3 weeks, the Knicks are exploring their options.
Sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that the Knicks and Raptors are talking about a trade to send point guard Kyle Lowry to New York.

Raymond Felton, who is out for approximately 2-3 weeks with a left hamstring strain, is one of the players who is being discussed.

Based on each player's production this year, it seems like Lowry would be a pretty big upgrade for the Knicks.

When thinking about Felton's season so far, it's worth noting that Felton has been hurt for most of the year. But according to 82games.com, Felton's opponent has outscored him by an average of 2.7 points per 48 minutes this year.

Opposing point guards have produced a 17.2 PER -- a measure of a player's per minute offensive production -- against Felton. He has produced a 10.6. That's a big difference. Could those numbers improve if Felton returns to the court 100 percent healthy? Of course. But at 6-15, the Knicks may not be able to wait that long.

Lowry, on the other hand, has outscored his opponent by an average of two points per 48 minutes, according to 82games.com. He's also producing a 17.3 PER and allowing his opponent to produce a 12.9 PER. Those numbers are favorable to Felton's.

But when considering this deal, you have to take into account the other pieces Toronto is after. According to Stein, Toronto is said to be seeking two of the Knicks' three best trade assets -- Iman Shumpert, rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. and a future first-round pick -- in addition to Felton exchange for Lowry.

The Knicks, who can deal their 2018, 2019 or 2020 first-round pick, have a history of discarding their future for the present. But according to ESPN's Chris Broussard, New York is reluctant to include a first-rounder in the deal.

That brings us to our question for Friday morning: What would you include in a deal for Lowry? Would you part with a first-rounder? Shumpert? Hardaway Jr.?

Up now: With Felton sidelined for 2-3 weeks, the Knicks, for now, will rely on Pablo Prigioni, Beno Udrih and, possibly, Tour'e Murry, to run the point. Shumpert is day to day with a sore left knee.

The Knicks are in talks with Toronto to try to acquire Lowry, but the Raptors are asking for a lot, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Lastly, Woodson says J.R. Smith may be impacted by pain in his surgically-repaired knee for the rest of the season.

What's next: The Knicks face the Celtics in Boston on Friday.

Question: Who would you include in a deal for Lowry? Would you part with a first-rounder? Shumpert? Hardaway Jr.?

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