Steve from Red Hook writes:
Would you trade for Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry? And if so, what would be the most you'd be willing to give up to get him?
It appears Toronto is engaging both the Nets and Knicks in regards to any possible deals for the 27-year-old Lowry.
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri seems to trying to pit the two New York teams against each other in order to gain as much leverage as possible for a potential deal, as Ujiri did when he was the Denver Nuggets GM in the Melo-drama of 2011.
Toronto seems to be insisting on a first-round draft pick and a controllable young player, and reportedly that asking price has already caused the Golden State Warriors to bow out of talks, leaving just the Nets and Knicks as the most serious suitors for Lowry.
Sam Amick of USA Today reported on Friday that the Nets are extremely reluctant to give up a first-round pick, as the Nets do not want to keep making it a habit of giving up top picks. The Nets' 2020 first-round pick is the earliest first-rounder they could even offer if they did end up relenting to Toronto's asking price.
Additionally, NBA Insider Howard Beck tweeted Friday night that the Nets have "zero intention" to give up Bojan Bogdanovic, a 24-year-old swingman who's been Nets property since 2011 and is expected to leave the Euroleague for the NBA next year.
Multiple reports indicated that Masai Ujiri had been in Turkey on Thursday on a prearranged scouting trip and may have watched Bogdanovic play, an intriguing coincidence if indeed the trip had been planned prior to trade talks.
The bottom line is that while the Nets could certainly use a veteran backup point guard with Shaun Livingston seemingly wearing down as of late and Tyshawn Taylor still learning, the asking price is just too high for Kyle Lowry right now.
If the Nets could acquire Lowry without giving up Mirza Teletovic, Mason Plumlee or Bojan Bogdanovic, I'd love to make something work. I would give up Taylor, but I'd hesitate to give up a first-rounder for Lowry, who can be a free agent after the year.
In the end, the Knicks need Lowry a lot more than the Nets do, and my gut feeling is that they'll eventually give in to Ujiri's demands and include their 2018 first-rounder to sweeten the pot and make it happen. The Nets just aren't desperate enough to cave.