Was it reasonable for Dolan to veto a deal for Lowry?
Remember, the Kyle Lowry you have been watching on your television screen isn’t the same one that was on the trade block in 2013. At the time, he was still finding his place in the league, slowly developing into a starter, who, at 27-years-old, was finally showing hints that he could be an effective lead guard.
It wasn’t until two years later that he would develop into a perennial All-Star for the Toronto Raptors.
The Knicks had been so willy-nilly with their draft picks in the time around the proposed Lowry deal that they could only offer a first round pick that was five years in the future, since league rules dictate that a team can’t be left out of the first round in consecutive drafts.
Only months before the Lowry negotiations, New York had surrendered their 2016 first round pick to Toronto for Andrea Bargnani.
As a Knicks fan back then, I remember feeling relieved that they finally didn’t cave and trade for a veteran piece in Lowry who wasn’t a proven star. And not only that, he was due to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, which would have made it unbearable to think about surrendering assets for a player the team might not be able to retain.
If the deal also included a young player like Shumpert or Hardaway Jr., it would have been even worse—at least, that was my thinking at the time.
Obviously, looking back now, the non-deal looks bad for the Knicks. Lowry became an All-Star in 2014-15 and has been elected to the team every year since. He was on the Raptors championship squad. And after regressing quite a bit in recent seasons, he has had somewhat of a resurgence this year at the age of 33.
Meanwhile, Iman Shumpert turned into an injury-prone player that the team traded a year later. And the 2018 first round pick became Kevin Knox, who, let’s just say, he doesn’t seem to be on the cusp of superstardom.
But still… But still, it would have been difficult justifying a trade for the Lowry of 2013 when he would have cost the team cap space to keep the following summer, along with a future first round pick and possibly a young player like Shumpert.
Knicks fans can feel annoyed that the one trade they didn’t make was for a player who actually turned into a star, but there was logic used at the time in not making the deal, even if part of that thinking was built upon previous mistakes.