When the reports started coming down yesterday that the Knicks were seeking Kyle Lowry from the Raptors in exchange for a package including a 2018 first-rounder, it sounded eminently logical. Not in the "that's a smart move" sense, but in the "of course the Knicks are going to give up on a draft that's five years away" sense. That's just how things are done at the Garden.
But wait! Frank Isola now reports that although the Knicks had agreed to make the deal with Toronto, owner James Dolan put the kibosh on the trade.
"Dolan didn't want to get fleeced again by Masai," was how one Knicks source put it. "They had a deal ready."
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has already gotten the better of the Knicks on a pair of deals for Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani, each composing a handful of players, a first rounder (Melo for the 2014 pick, Bargnani for the 2016 pick), and two second-rounders.
But Dolan was also reportedly mad that news of a Lowry deal had been leaked to the media. Congrats, Knicks Twitter! Your immediate uproar might have helped scuttle this trade. And it's entirely possible that there's now one logical person in the Knicks front office, who knows that leaking deals can get them killed in the court of public opinion before they can be finalized.
If Dolan really, really needs any more reason to back out of this trade with Toronto, he has his own track record to fall back on. SBNation has written a brief chronicle of the Knicks' first-round picks this millennium, and it's not pretty:
The only reason it's not uglier is that the NBA doesn't let teams give up first-round picks in consecutive seasons. If they could, you can bet this Knicks team would already have Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, and Chauncey Billups on the roster.