Eastern Notes: Knicks, Hawes, Turner

February 22 at 7:44pm CDT By Cray Allred

New arrivals Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour are excited to play for the playoff-hopeful Bobcats, they tell Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer“It’s fun to be in a playoff hunt,” said Ridnour. “You definitely sense a hunger on this team and in the town that we can make the playoffs.” Here are some more notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Ian Begley of ESPN New York takes a look at the Knicks‘ cap space in coming years. Assuming New York can re-sign Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks are currently looking at their first bit of breathing room in the 2015/16 season, when five players from the current roster could remain under contract. With just around $21MM in cap room estimated at that time, it would be difficult for New York to add much around another max-contract free agent if they were able to land one of their targets like Kevin Love or Rajon Rondo.
  • Spencer Hawes is another player moving from the bottom of the East to a team in playoff contention, and the new Cavs center told reporters including of Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, “Now I feel like it’s a chance to hit ‘reset’ and get acclimated for this stretch run.” Hawes says he expected to be traded, but hadn’t thought of Cleveland as his likely destination.
  • Evan Turner took to Twitter to express his appreciation for his time with the Sixers fans and organization, as transcribed by James Park of Sheridan Hoops. Turner’s had spent his entire career with the team that took him second-overall in the 2010 NBA draft prior to this week’s trade to the Pacers.
  • Turner’s agent tells Howard Beck of Bleacher Report that Turner is “ecstatic” to be playing for the Pacers. Beck’s full article looks at how a change of team will also include changed expectations for Turner, who never lived up to his lofty draft status in Philadelphia.
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