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Atlantic Rumors: Knicks, Pietrus, Deron Williams

As two Atlantic Division teams go at it tonight in Game 2 of the Celtics-Sixers series, let's check on what's happening off the court:

  • The Knicks stand to gain if the union prevails on its contention that players claimed off waivers may retain their Bird Rights, but only by so much. If the arbitrator rules in favor of the union, that could allow the Knicks to re-sign Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak while using the mid-level exception on another player. Yet, as Howard Beck of The New York Times points out, the team would have only the smaller taxpayer mid-level exception if retaining Novak and Lin, along with their other free agents, pushes them above the $74MM luxury tax apron. Currently, the team has approximately $58.7MM guaranteed to players next season, with seven free agents and two players on non-guaranteed deals (All Twitter links).
  • Mickael Pietrus, a free agent after the season, will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this summer, and hinted that he may re-sign with the Celtics, according to Jackie MacMullan and Chris Forsberg of Pietrus underwent the same procedure on the knee during this past offseason.  
  • At the bottom of this piece by Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow offers a glimpse into the mind of top free agent target Deron Williams. Among other things, Morrow says that Williams "really likes Brooklyn," and loves the team and his teammates.  

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