Feb 6, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (2) dribbles the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas (3) defends during the second half at Amway Center. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks were interested in both Emmanuel Mudiay and Elfrid Payton as minutes winded down to the trade deadline and the team ultimately to swing a deal for Mudiay. Both former lottery pick point guards have been disappointments but Mudiay may have been the more sensible target for the Knicks, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

While Mudiay and Payton both come with some downside, they are also both still young and possess talent. Berman quotes two executives who believe Mudiay — who is still under contract for one additional season beyond 2017/18 — is a better fit for the Knicks. The Knicks also gave up Doug McDermott, who was not in New York’s future plans, Berman notes.

In 42 games this season, Mudiay has averaged 8.5 PPG and 2.9 APG.

Check out other Knicks news below:

  • While adding another young point guard could be interpreted as the Knicks losing faith in Frank Ntilikina, he is not worried about the acquisition, Newsday’s Al Iannazzone writes. Ntilikina views the addition of Mudiay as a positive that will benefit both sides.  We’re not competing against each other,” Ntilikina said. “We’re going to bring each other to the top to make the Knicks a competitive team. We can both play with the ball, we can both play off the ball, so it might be great for us.”
  • The Raptors‘ trade of Bruno Caboclo to the Kings for Malachi Richardson may not be a major deal on a blockbuster deadline day but it has salary cap implications, Josh Lewenberg of TSN writes. Trading Caboclo sheds nearly $1MM in salary, which gives Toronto flexibility to fill its 15th roster spot.
  • The Celtics entered the trade deadline and despite numerous reports, ultimately kept Marcus Smart. Greg Monroe‘s deal with Boston also became official and the chase for Eastern Conference supremacy continues. Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe spoke to general manager Danny Ainge about the deadline, the team’s deadline moves, and Smart’s future.
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This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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