Atlantic Notes: J.R. Smith, Knicks, Rondo

The Pacers do have at least some level of interest in J.R. Smith, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, who reported earlier this month that Indiana discussed Smith in conversations with the Knicks about a potential deal involving Chris Copeland. The Knicks are confident about the market for the former Sixth Man of the Year and aren’t merely looking to swap him for an expiring contract, a source tells Berman. While we wait to see how the Knicks proceed, there’s more from New York amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • Derek Fisher isn’t sure about the timetable that Phil Jackson has suggested for making judgments about the players on the Knicks roster, as Berman relays in the same piece. “I don’t know if it’s a fair assessment or not,’’ Fisher said. “[Phil] obviously knows a lot about his offense, but I think it’s more than just a guy is going to get it. Each player and person has different learning curves. I don’t know if there’s a date. It’s more where our team is from a management standpoint. For me, I don’t have a date on when I would assume a guy should or shouldn’t have it. I’m going to coach him until he’s here or isn’t here. Those won’t be my decisions.’’
  • Rajon Rondo told reporters that he didn’t disagree with Kendrick Perkins, who said earlier Wednesday that Rondo, set for free agency at season’s end, would like to remain with the Celtics, observes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald“It’s about accurate,” Rondo said. “I mean, from media day in the beginning, that’s what I said initially. So regardless of what’s going on in the season, my perspective hasn’t changed. I love being a Celtic.”
  • Perkins, who’s also poised to become a free agent in the summer, is open to returning to the Celtics, saying it would be up to Boston’s brass to bring him back if they want him, Bulpett notes. The 30-year-old Thunder center sees Boston as increasingly attractive for free agents, as he told reporters, including Bulpett.
  • The Sixers are a long way from respectability, but tonight’s season debut for Michael Carter-Williams, who’s back from shoulder surgery, will pair him with Nerlens Noel for the first time. Having two building blocks on the floor at once will represent a landmark moment in Philly’s rebuilding, opines John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News.

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