After not making a move for a point guard at the trade deadline in March, the Knicks are expected to resume their search in the offseason, armed with a handful of potential trade assets and a good deal of cap room.
While younger point guards such as Lonzo Ball and Dennis Schröder have been frequently cited as possible targets for New York, the team also has Raptors veteran Kyle Lowry on its radar for the summer, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv.
The Lakers, Sixers, and Heat were in the running at this year’s trade deadline for Lowry, who ultimately stayed put in Toronto. Now that the six-time All-Star is set to reach unrestricted free agency, those teams could once again pursue him, but the Lakers and Sixers will be well over the cap and would have a hard time completing a sign-and-trade, and the Knicks will have more cap space than Miami. If Leon Rose and his front office are serious about pursuing Lowry, they could emerge as a top suitor and put real pressure on the Raptors.
At age 35, Lowry is expected to seek one more lucrative multiyear deal, but he wouldn’t require a four-year commitment like Ball and Schröder probably will. The idea of signing Lowry to a shorter-term deal could appeal to the Knicks’ front office, since it would allow the team to add an impact player while maintaining cap flexibility for another big move in the next year or two.
Whether or not Lowry will be atop the Knicks’ list of targets remains to be seen. It’s also unclear whether he’d reciprocate that interest — it’s possible he’d prefer to stick with the Raptors, head home to Philadelphia, or team up with good friend Jimmy Butler in Miami.
However, it’s worth noting – as Begley writes, and as we’ve heard from other reporters throughout the season – that the league-wide perception of the Knicks among players and agents seems to be improving. The team’s success in 2020-21 has been a major factor in enhancing New York’s reputation, as has the new front office. According to Begley, agents who have griped in the past about the Knicks’ inability to promptly return calls say that Rose’s group has been far more responsive and upfront in its communication.
In his 15th NBA season, Lowry has been his usual productive self, averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds in 46 games (34.8 MPG), with a .436/.396/.875 shooting line and solid perimeter defense.