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Eastern Notes: Pistons, Embiid, Millsap

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy has shown no hesitation to make major moves, as Josh Smith‘s release made clear, and Van Gundy also pulled off a trade last month, swapping Tony Mitchell for Anthony Tolliver. The Lakers have apparently inquired about Greg Monroe and Brandon Jennings and the Pistons are reportedly shopping Luigi Datome, but Van Gundy doesn’t sound like he wants to make a move with the team having won 11 of its past 13.

“I’m really, really happy with the guys we have here right now,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really, really happy with our culture and how guys are working. We’ve got the right things going for our future.”

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference as the Pistons clash with the first-place Hawks, who’ve won 12 in a row:

  • It’s believed that the Sixers would be content with 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid missing the entire season, just as Nerlens Noel did last year after he went sixth overall, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Some inside the Sixers organization question Embiid’s work ethic, and the former Kansas big man has clashed with a member of the Sixers’ training staff, Pompey hears. A source tells Pompey that Embiid’s weight has ballooned to 300 pounds, but Embiid denied that to Dei Lynam of
  • Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today imply that there’s mutual interest in a new deal this summer between the Hawks and soon-to-be free agent Paul Millsap. Atlanta was eyeing a longer deal than the two-year pact Millsap signed in 2013, but the power forward who turns 30 next month, wanted to engineer a shot at another payday not long into the future, Zillgitt hears (Twitter link).
  • A trade that would have sent Lance Stephenson to the Nets appeared close last week until the Nets grew skittish about him, but the Brooklyn native isn’t anxious to leave the Hornets, notes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “I want to be here,” Stephenson said. “I feel I can definitely help this squad… It’s really not up to me.”
  • Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, has been “sniffing around” the idea of making a run at purchasing the Nets, sources tell Robert Windrem of NetsDaily. She was part of a group that came up short in pursuit of the Clippers, as the NetsDaily scribe notes.

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