Raymond Felton's health and subpar play have the Knicks looking for upgrades at the point guard position, and their current target is Kyle Lowry.
The Knicks and Raptors are discussing a trade centered around Lowry, a league source confirmed. The Toronto Star reported that multiple teams have called the Raptors about Lowry, who is averaging 14.6 points and 6.7 assists this season. Reportedly, the Nets are among them.
Lowry is in the final year of a deal that pays him $6.2 million. Felton would be involved on the Knicks' end, but he is sidelined two to three weeks with a strained left hamstring.
The Raptors are said to want a first-round pick and short-term contracts for Lowry, who has career averages of 10.8 points and 5.1 assists for the Grizzlies, Rockets and Raptors.
The Knicks sent Toronto a 2016 first-round pick and two second-rounders as part of the package for Andrea Bargnani last summer. They don't have a first-round choice they can trade until 2018.
They might need a third team or might have to include Iman Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr. But the Knicks like Hardaway, and although they have been exploring trades for Shumpert, they have wanted to use him in a deal for more of an impact player. There also is some reluctance to part with a first-round pick.
During his weekly radio show on ESPN New York, Mike Woodson didn't rule out the Knicks going outside the team for point guard help.
"That's something that's always dangling out there,'' he said. "Right now for us, there's really nothing going on. We've got to maintain and coach the guys that we got in uniform. Nobody's going to help the Knicks out or make a big blockbuster trade to bail us out. Guys that are in uniform have to be ready to play and step up.''
Felton had an MRI Thursday that revealed the severity of the hamstring injury. It has hampered him since training camp, and he aggravated it Tuesday in Cleveland. He also has dealt with a pinched nerve in his hip.
His play has dropped dramatically from last season. He's averaging 10.3 points and 5.2 assists in 16 games, and his defense against opposing point guards has been poor.
Pablo Prigioni started for Felton in Wednesday night's win over the Bulls and likely will again Friday night in Boston when the Knicks try to avenge Sunday's 41-point home loss to the Celtics.
Prigioni's starting backcourt mate is up in the air. The Knicks are listing Shumpert as day-to-day with a bruised left knee. It's the same one that Shumpert injured in the 2012 playoffs, and surgery kept him out of the first 37 games last season.
Woodson said the Knicks will "monitor'' Shumpert and see if he's well enough to play Friday night.
Contact for Chandler. Woodson said Tyson Chandler will go through some contact Friday for the first time since breaking his right leg Nov. 4 and will be evaluated Monday. "It will be up to him and medical when they release him,'' he said. "Hopefully it will be really soon.''
Notes & quotes: Woodson put some of J.R. Smith's shooting struggles on his offseason knee surgery. "I don't think he's 100 percent,'' he said. "I don't know if he'll ever [get there] this season based on the surgery he had.'' . . . In light of the Knicks' awful performance in Sunday's game, which began at noon, Woodson was asked if he tells players not to go out in Manhattan the night before a game. He joked, "The next early game, I might have to do something different -- put them all in the hotel and I sit there and baby-sit just to make sure everybody's doing what they're supposed to be doing.''
The Dolan family owns
controlling interests in the
Knicks, Madison Square
Garden and Cablevision.
Cablevision owns Newsday.