Eastern Notes: Magic, Knicks, Deng, Bulls

January 8 at 9:27pm CST By Charlie Adams

There haven’t been any updates on potential deals involving Andre Miller or J.R. Smith, so let’s have a look at the Eastern Conference in the meantime:

  • Despite diminished frontcourt depth, the Magic won’t be signing a player to a 10-day contract in the near future, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The club waived Solomon Jones yesterday, and starting center Nikola Vucevic is suffering from a concussion, but apparently team management is confident in the club’s bench.
  • It’s been a tough season for the 12-22 Knicks, but head coach Mike Woodson still believes his club could hang with the Heat if his players were healthy. Fred Kerber of the New York Post passes along this quote from Woodson: “Absolutely and I still believe that [we could hang with the Heat], if we could ever get back whole… I’m not taking anything away from the players who have been consistently in uniform for us, but it’s hard to judge our team.
  • Over at USA Today, a panel of sports writers takes a look at various issues surrounding the trade that sent Luol Deng from the Bulls to the Cavaliers. Among the issues discussed: the future of Chicago’s organization and the potential direction of Andrew Bynum‘s career after he was waived yesterday.
  • Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald opines that the Derrick Rose Rule is the reason that the Bulls couldn’t retain Deng. McGraw argues that Chicago couldn’t offer Deng a big enough extension because they had so much tied up in the contract that Derrick Rose was allowed to sign as a result of his early-career success.
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