The Eastern Conference has been the weaker side of the NBA for more than a decade, but the teams at the top of the conference should rival their counterparts from the West this season. The Bulls, Pacers and Nets all figure to be tougher competition for the Heat in 2013/14, with the Knicks right behind. As we wait to see how it plays out, here's the latest news related to Eastern teams:
- Agent Jeremiah Haylett tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype that he's exploring overseas options for Ivan Johnson (Twitter link). The Knicks are one of six NBA teams who've spoken to the burly power forward, and though the Hawks were reportedly interested in bringing him back as of mid-July, they've since renounced his rights.
- Wizards coach Randy Wittman is glad the team locked up John Wall, who became the 15th NBA player to have a maximum-salary contract on the books when he signed his extension this week. J. Michael of CSNWashington.com has Wittman's thoughts on the team's offseason.
- The gamble that Brandon Jennings will be better than Brandon Knight in the long run is the latest in a series of risks that will decide Joe Dumars' fate, opines Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press. Of course, Dumars and the Pistons might already be plotting to move on from Jennings, according to a report we passed along earlier today.