Eastern Notes: Knicks, Lee, Magic

March 1 at 11:58am CDT By Cray Allred

Geroge Willis of The New York Post thinks the Knicks don’t appreciate their own when evaluating coaching candidates, citing Mark Jackson as the latest in overlooked candidates with experience within the franchise. Mike D’Antoni was hired over Jackson in 2008, but things have ended up decidedly better for the Warriors–where Jackson landed–than the Knicks since then. Willis points out that Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks, Doc Rivers, Michael Malone, and Steve Clifford all had connections to the Knicks before thriving elsewhere. Patrick Ewing is a former Knicks-great that has long been looking for a head coaching opportunity; Willis wouldn’t be surprised if he proves himself away from Madison Square Garden. Let’s take a look around the East:

  • David Lee has his eye on the Knicks cap situation for 2016, the summer Lee will become a free agent, a person familiar with his thinking tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. Lee says he has no hard feelings over the Knicks letting him walk as a free agent while they pursued LeBron James in 2010. ““What happened, happened. I don’t look back with any negative thoughts on my career in New York. I wish we could have won more games,” says Lee. “But we had a lot of changing pieces that were traded away for that ultimate push for the free-agency year. My only regret is we didn’t win more, but I love the city and loved my time here.‘’
  • Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel wonders whether the increasingly bleak Knicks environment could motivate Carmelo Anthony to take a pay cut and/or leave the storied franchise to chase a title elsewhere. While it once seemed Anthony was destined to finish his career in New York, Winderman thinks the precedent set by LeBron James and Dwight Howard in recent years is no longer as far fetched for last season’s scoring leader.
  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike Show” that the felony charges looming over Knicks guard Raymond Felton create an image problem for the league (transcription via Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com).
  • Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel [subscription only] looks forward to the summer of 2016, when the Magic will have cap room and, ideally, a developing young talent-base that could attract superstar free agents like Kevin LoveLaMarcus Aldridge, and Rajon Rondo, or valuable restricted free agents like Klay ThompsonReggie Jackson, and Kawhi Leonard.
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