Hoops Rumors readers so far believe the Wizards are the best team outside of the Cavs and the Bulls in the Eastern Conference, but the Raptors aren’t far behind in the voting. Still, there’s change afoot in Toronto, where Tim Leiweke, CEO of the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment company that’s in charge of the franchise, is set to step down within the next several months. Here’s more on Canada’s team and the rest of the Atlantic Division:
- Thanasis Antetokounmpo has reportedly agreed to join the Knicks D-League affiliate in Westchester, but before that can happen, the team would have to acquire his D-League rights from the Sixers affiliate in Delaware, as Gino Pilato of the D-League Digest points out. Delaware still possesses Antetokounmpo’s D-League rights because he played there last season, and that holds even though new rules allow NBA teams to otherwise possess the D-League rights of their draft picks.
- The Sixers apparently reached out to Avery Bradley within the first hour of free agency this summer, but it seems the Celtics still beat them to the punch, as the guard indicates to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link). “They were the first team that called and — we had other calls — but Boston, I knew I was coming back here,” said Bradley, who re-signed with the C’s to a four-year, $32MM deal.
- Leiweke’s upcoming departure is a blow to the Raptors, given the team’s progress during his brief time in charge of the team, opines Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter links). Wolstat credits Leiweke for doggedly pursuing Masai Ujiri to serve as GM and staying out of Ujiri’s way once he hired him.