Eastern Rumors: Vucevic, Knicks, Westphal

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel runs down some of the considerations the Magic will have to make in deciding whether to sign center Nikola Vucevic to a rookie scale extension prior to the October 31 deadline. While Vucevic might not seem like a near-max talent, Robbins surmises that Orlando could regret not securing him in that range if he signs a hefty offer sheet next summer as a restricted free agent. Here’s a look around the rest of the Eastern Conference:

  • Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops expects Knicks president Phil Jackson to pursue trading for a star from a rebuilding team this year, shopping Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani‘s expiring contracts as cap-clearing assets for such a deal. Scotto pegs Rajon Rondo as a potential target for New York.
  • Carmelo Anthony nodded to his desire for Jackson to add another star to the Knicks roster in the future, telling Al Iannazzone of Newsday that he envisions another elite weapon, along with the team’s new triangle offense, as necessary elements to reduce his scoring load. “For this season right now, we have what we have,” Anthony said. “We’re going to deal with that. That was a big discussion with me and Phil talking about–that was one of my things. I didn’t want to have to do it night in and night out. I wanted some nights when somebody else can pick up the load.”
  • Nets assistant coach Paul Westphal tells Tim Bontemps of the New York Post that he returned to the bench primarily to reunite with head coach Lionel Hollins. The pair coached together in Phoenix. “I wouldn’t have [been an assistant] in any situation,” Westphal said. “I wasn’t desperate to go find a situation, but I definitely wouldn’t have said no to Lionel.”

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