Two title hopefuls meet in Brooklyn tonight, as the Nets prepare to host the Heat in their home opener. While we look forward to what could be a playoff preview, here are a few of the latest items from around the Eastern Conference:
- Although other extension candidates negotiated right up until last night’s deadline, Evan Turner told reporters, including Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that he had no talks whatsoever with the Sixers. “I didn’t expect anything, because [Sam] Hinkie is not my GM,” Turner said. “I didn’t come up with Hinkie or anything. He has his own plan for stuff, and that’s pretty much it.”
- The Celtics are viewed league-wide as a strong candidate to pursue Gordon Hayward next summer, given Hayward’s ties to coach Brad Stevens, writes Shams Charania of RealGM.com.
- Following up on Marc Stein’s report about the Raptors exploring trade options, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford tweets that no one covets Canadian prospect Andrew Wiggins more than Toronto GM Masai Ujiri.
- Within Stein’s piece on Jameer Nelson, the ESPN.com scribe also noted that the Bulls had been trying to acquire a first-round pick for Marquis Teague throughout October, to no avail.
- Howard Beck of Bleacher Report spoke to Bucks owner Herb Kohl and GM John Hammond about Milwaukee’s roster-building model and the franchise’s aversion to tanking.
- Solomon Jones suffered a torn meniscus and will be sidelined indefinitely after he undergoes surgery, according to a press release from the Magic. The injury is bad news for Jones, who had beat out several other camp invitees to earn a roster spot, and for the Magic, who may end up having to guarantee Jones’ non-guaranteed contract depending on how much time he misses.