Eastern Rumors: Knicks, Gortat, Pacers, Rondo

Carmelo Anthony‘s camp leaked the information about Joakim Noah‘s All-Star break recruiting pitch, and the Knicks have been open about their pursuit of Phil Jackson, observes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Deveney concludes the whispers from both sides are intended as posturing for ‘Melo’s free agency decision this summer. While we wait to see how the latest ‘Melo-drama will play out, here’s the latest from the rest of the Eastern Conference:

  • Marcin Gortat says the strength of a team’s point guard and its coaching staff will be two qualities he’ll consider when he assesses suitors in free agency this summer, as he tells Kyle Weidie of ESPN.com. Gortat is high on re-signing with the Wizards, though his comments suggest he isn’t interested in signing an extension, reportedly one of Washington’s goals.
  • The Pacers were concerned that Danny Granger had slacked off on the daily rehab regimen that was to help him regain his form after he missed almost all of last season with injuries, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. That helped precipitate the deadline deal that brought Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to Indiana, but Kyler wonders if the departure of the longtime Pacer did irreparable damage to the team’s chemistry.
  • Danny Ainge embraces Rajon Rondo, stubbornness and all, as the Celtics president of basketball operations tells Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe for a piece that examines Rondo’s nuanced personality.

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