As we prepare for an evening schedule that includes the Celtics looking to extend their winning streak to eight in Charlotte and the Wizards looking for their fourth straight win in Milwaukee, let's check in on a few stories out of the Eastern Conference….
- Monta Ellis has the opportunity to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, but he insists he's committed to the Bucks and isn't thinking about his contract situation, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Despite the trade rumors surrounding Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors, coach Dwane Casey is moving forward as if Bargnani will be in Toronto for the rest of the season, writes Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld.
- Moke Hamilton of Sheridan Hoops explains why he thinks the Knicks ought to consider trading Iman Shumpert.
- Considering that Magic GM Rob Hennigan targeted young players such as Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless in the Dwight Howard trade, the team appears to be in good hands when it comes to Hennigan's talent evaluation, says Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.
- The Pistons have already begun recruiting one of their own players, as they attempt to convince Jose Calderon to stay in Detroit beyond this season, writes Terry Foster of the Detroit News.
- With Tayshaun Prince now in Memphis, David Mayo of MLive.com wonders if Kyle Singler could be the Pistons' new long-term answer at small forward.