Commissioner Adam Silver not only defended the Sixers, but praised the organization’s strategy for attempting to build a championship contender, writes Jason Wolf of USA Today. This comes a day after former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy slammed the Sixers’ apparent willingness to field a non-competitive team and tank a season to improve its draft stock. “I don’t agree with Coach Van Gundy at all,” Silver said. “I just came from the locker room, I just spoke to the coach. It’s an insult to the entire league to suggest that these guys are going out on the floor and aren’t doing their very best to win games.” Tom Moore of Calkins Media tweeted that Silver said the team isn’t tanking, but rather “building from the ground up.” Silver also told Moore (Twitter link) that he “doesn’t believe a team has to go all the way to the bottom to get to the top.”
More from around the east:
- Bob Finnan of The News-Herald relays why he thinks Jimmer Fredette would have been a bad fit with the Cavs. He cites the player’s size and lack of defensive ability making him a poor mesh with Mike Brown‘s system, in addition to the presence of Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles, who would limit Fredette’s minutes.
- Fredette will be available to play today against the Knicks, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Fredette put up a career high 24 points against them last month. Johnson also tweets that coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to pre-judge Jimmer’s defensive abilities.
- Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link) asked Fredette if the Knicks had shown any interest, and Jimmer said they hadn’t contacted him or his agent. Mike Woodson had indicated the Knicks didn’t want to wait on him, and they made their moves earlier with the signings of Earl Clark and Shannon Brown.
- With the Cavs Luol Deng set to become a free agent after the season, Bob Finnan of the News Herald thinks the team would be better served to re-sign Spencer Hawes instead. He cites Hawes’ production since arriving, as well as the age difference between the two. Finnan also notes that Hawes should come cheaper than Deng, which would allow for more cap flexibility.
- Brett Pollakoff of NBCSports.com discusses why the Knicks couldn’t deal Amar’e Stoudemire‘s expiring contract to a team that still hasn’t used its amnesty provision.