Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Rivers, Raptors, Knicks

June 8 2012 at 9:01pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Tomorrow night, the Celtics will either advance to the NBA Finals or face a summer of uncertainty, with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen as unrestricted free agents. Win or lose, this "big three" will go down as a success for Celtics executive Danny Ainge, writes Paul Flannery of WEEI.com. If the Celtics win tomorrow and advance to face the Thunder, it will set up an interesting referendum on Ainge's trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City. There's plenty of other news swirling around the Atlantic as the draft and free agency near, including a promise for the son of the Celtics coach.

  • Even as his team is challenging the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, Celtics coach Doc Rivers is actively helping son Austin Rivers through the draft process, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports observes. A source tells Spears that a team picking late in the lottery has promised the younger Rivers they will take him. The Celtics have two first round picks, at No. 21 and 22, and Doc Rivers is open to the possibility of the team trading up to draft his son.
  • Rivers could be picked as high as No. 8 by the Raptors, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer suggests, via Twitter.
  • The Raps met with Rivers, Harrison Barnes and Damian Lillard this week, but with so much unsettled about who will go where in the lottery, the team is "more reactive than active" at the moment, writes Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.  
  • Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com identifies some possible minimum-salary free agent targets for the Knicks, including point guards Gary Neal, Kirk Hinrich, and Jonny Flynn, and shooting guards Anthony Parker, Randy Foye and Nate Robinson.
  • John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it's not certain the Sixers will use the amnesty clause on Elton Brand, as we noted earlier, but several NBA executives believe the team may indeed wipe out his $18.16MM salary for next season, HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy says (via Twitter).

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