“They just didn’t have the pieces to make it happen,” one league source familiar with the dynamic said.
That won’t stop the Knicks from trying. New York still hopes to pry Teague from Atlanta at some point before Thursday’s trade deadline, according to a report by ESPN’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst.
The club has made veteran point guard Jose Calderon and young forward Kyle O'Quinn available, according to the report by Stein and Windhorst, who write that the Knicks are talking up Calderon’s leadership qualities to opposing teams and are offering the 25-year-old O'Quinn in some packages to "sweeten proposals."
Executives around the league believe the Knicks’ assets, or lack thereof, might prevent them from making a trade for Teague or another elite guard.
New York was also monitoring Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings in recent weeks, so it would surprise no one if they discussed a potential deal for Jennings with the Pistons in the coming days.
In addition to talking to Atlanta about Teague and monitoring Jennings' situation, the Knicks recently reached out to the Hawks about guard Dennis Schroder. They were unable to make traction on a deal, per league sources.
Phil Jackson's club might need to get a third team -- such as the Boston Celtics, with their large stock of draft picks -- involved if it hopes to obtain an elite player.
The Knicks are unlikely to include their own draft pick in any deal. The next first-rounder they can offer in a trade is their pick in 2018.
One last thing to note regarding the Knicks and the trade deadline: It wouldn’t be surprising if more rumors involving a trade of Carmelo Anthony surfaced. But Anthony, 31, has made it clear that he has no plans to waive his no-trade clause. So that appears to be a non-starter.
"There's always some trade s--- going [on]," Anthony said Saturday during an interview on Sirius XM NBA Radio. "I'm not going anywhere."