When the Toronto Raptors lost out in the Steve Nash sweepstakes, they decided to trade for Kyle Lowry and make an offer to New York Knicks restricted free agent Landry Fields, but will their offseason be enough to compete at the same level as the Knicks?
Lowry was acquired in a trade with the Houston Rockets for Gary Forbes and a future first-round pick after a 2011-12 season where he averaged 14.3 points, 6.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 37.4-percent from three-point range. The Knicks recent acquisition Raymond Felton averaged 11.4 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 30.5-percent from three-point range with the Portland Trailblazers.
Jose Calderon was the Raptors’ starting point guard last season, but the acquisition of Lowry moves him to the bench, despite averaging 10.5 points, 8.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 37.1-percent from three-point range. Jason Kidd was a starting point guard with Dallas Mavericks, but will be a backup with the Knicks after averaging 6.2 points, 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 35.4-percent from three-point range.
The Raptors selected Terrence Ross with the eighth overall pick and decided to offer Fields a three-year $20 million contract, which the Knicks were unwilling to match. The Knicks will start Ronnie Brewer and have recently resigned J.R. Smith as his backup while they wait for Iman Shumpert to regain full health following his torn ACL surgery.
Fields averaged 8.8 points, 2.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 25.6-percent from three-point range and Ross averaged 16.4 points, 1.4 assists and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 37.1-percent from three-point range. Brewer averaged 6.9 points, 2.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 27.5-percent from three-point range and Smith averaged 12.5 points, 2.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 34.7-percent from three-point range.
The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony is a much better player than the Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan averaged 16.7 points, 2.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 26.1-percent from three-point range and Anthony averaged 22.6 points, 3.6 assists and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 33.5-percent from three-point range.
The Knicks’ resigned the NBA’s leading three-point shooter Steve Novak to be Anthony’s backup, but DeRozan’s backup is Linas Kleiza, who is coming off of a huge performance at the Olympics. Kleiza averaged 9.7 points, 0.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 34.6-percent from three-point range last season.
Amar’e Stoudemire is a better power forward than the Raptors’ Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani averaged 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds while Stoudemire averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.
The 76ers’ backups are Amir Johnson and Ed Davis and will be a potential problem for Stoudemire’s backup’ Kurt Thomas, who will be turning 40 years old on October 4. Johnson averaged 7.1 points and 6.4 rebounds and Davis averaged 6.3 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Tyson Chandler appears to be a better center than the Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas, but he Valanciunas was drafted fifth overall last season and is just 20 years old. Valanciunas averaged 14.2 points and 7.4 rebounds with the Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania while Chandler averaged 11.3 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Knicks’ acquisition Marcus Camby has had a great career, but he is 38-years old and you have to wonder when his age will catch up to him. Aaron Gray shouldn’t be much of a concern for Camby though, since Gray averaged just 3.9 points and 5.7 rebounds.
The Knicks have the bigger names in Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler and if their bench plays younger than their age, they should be just fine this season against the Raptors.