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As New York Knicks executives work to convince owner Jim Dolan he should ignore public criticism and complete a deal for Kyle Lowry, the Brooklyn Nets are gaining traction as a possible destination for the Toronto Raptors point guard, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Knicks are desperate for a point guard, and their front office had a deal together that would've sent Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace and a 2018 first-round pick for Lowry.
The Knicks' front office is determined to re-enter talks on Lowry, league sources said, but it is unclear how they will try to amend a trade package – or whether they're willing to return the original offer to the table. Without the future first-round pick, there's little chance of the Knicks landing Lowry, sources said.
The Golden State Warriors also have remained involved in talks with Toronto on Lowry, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Dolan became livid over the public disclosure of the deal terms and became aware over some segments of reaction that deemed the package a third straight debacle in dealing with Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, sources said.
Ujiri, the NBA's Executive of the Year with the Denver Nuggets a year ago, negotiated deals that brought the Knicks Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani in recent years.
How Brooklyn's pursuit of Lowry impacts Dolan will be interesting, because his sensitivity to criticism over his meddling into basketball deals might be only rivaled by his desire to outdo Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
The Raptors and Nets have exchanged ideas on packages for Lowry that include Mirza Teletovic, Tyshawn Taylor and 2011 second-round draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic, league sources said. Bogdanovic is playing in Turkey and could join the NBA as soon as next season.
Toronto could try to wait out the Nets' inclusion of a 2020 first-round draft pick or rookie center Mason Plumlee, but is doubtful Brooklyn will pay such a steep price. Jason Terry has been raised in talks, too, but only as part of a deal that includes young players or draft assets.
Toronto is searching for picks and young players in a deal for Lowry – not veterans with contracts.
While the Knicks want Lowry to take over as the franchise's point guard, Brooklyn envisions a scenario where Lowry and franchise star Deron Williams could play together in the backcourt for extended minutes. Lowry would give the Nets a significant upgrade over Shaun Livingston as a backup for Williams, who has consistently missed games with injuries in his Nets career.