Despite James Dolan’s rejection to the trade for Kyle Lowry, it always seemed doubtful that the New York Knicks would stand pat. After yet another disappointing loss to the Boston Celtics last night, it seems quite obvious that something needs to be shake up with this team. After going up 11 with 10:30 to play in the fourth quarter, the Knicks fell apart to the Celtics, getting outscored 22-7 over the remainder for the quarter. It was a stark reminder that — despite winning three of their last five games and still being in the playoff race in the weak Eastern Conference — this current core of Knicks aren’t getting the job done.
Besides for a coaching change, the potential for a trade still remains. Frank Isola reported that a Kyle Lowry trade is still possible:
"With starting point guard Raymond Felton expected to be sidelined two to three weeks with a strained hamstring, Dolan could be forced into reconsidering a deal for Lowry if the Knicks continue to struggle against the Hawks on Saturday. The Daily News reported on Friday that Dolan is having second thoughts about including either Tim Hardaway Jr. or a 2018 first-round pick as part of a package featuring Felton and Metta World Peace."
Nov 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert (21) reacts to a foul call late during the fourth quarter of a game against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. The Pacers defeated the Knicks 103-96 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Isola mentions that the Knicks are hesitant to part with Shumpert because they may want to include him in a package deal with Amar’e Stoudemire at some point. However, that either means including a draft pick (likely 2018) or Tim Hardaway Jr., which would be giving up a lot of assets.
At this point, though, the Knicks clearly need a shake-up. Some people are hesitant to give up a lot for Lowry, but when breaking down the potential for a trade, the price may not be that steep. Felton is injured, has played very poorly, and likely won’t return to normal level for awhile, even when he comes back. Felton hasn’t shot the ball well and he’s defended miserably — two of the Knicks’ biggest weaknesses. Metta World Peace has mostly underwhelmed, too, and is currently a fringe rotation player.
Shumpert is a tough case. It’s pretty amazing how a player with the potential to be an elite perimeter defender, the ability to spread the floor, and provide back-court rebounding has completely fallen off. The Knicks simply don’t have a role for him, and he’s flailing amongst trade rumors and an undefined role. Shumpert would be the ideal player throw in a trade for Lowry so the Knicks could keep their pick and Tim Hardaway Jr., who is currently playing better, younger, and cheaper.
It’s tough to tell what a trade involving Stoudemire and another asset would look like. However, with Tyson Chandler still injured, Andrea Bargnani struggling, and now Kenyon Martin out with an abdominal injury, the Knicks might look for another big man. That, currently, is not as big of a need as back-court help. The Knicks could still use Carmelo Anthony at the four, give Cole Aldrich more minutes, or call up Jeremy Tyler from the D-League.
A trade is needed, but it’s still quite unclear the form it would take.
Follow Scott Davis on Twitter.