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Eastern Notes: Knight, Thibodeau, Antic

Brandon Knight‘s price tag as a restricted free agent was a good reason for the Bucks to trade him to the Suns, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders believes. Knight will likely receive offer sheets in the range of $13MM-$15.9MM annually this summer after he was unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension with the club last fall, Duncan adds. Michael Carter-Williams, who was acquired from Philadelphia to take Knight’s spot, is on a rookie contract through the 2016/17 season and has more upside, Duncan opines.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • The acquisition of Carter-Williams could hurt the Bucks in the short run but improves their flexibility this summer, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes. The move gives them a young core of Carter-Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, and they have approximately $15MM in salary cap space to make another major move, Gardiner adds.
  • Four-year NBA veteran Daniel Orton has turned down offers from overseas after returning from his stint in the Philippines and is holding out for an NBA deal, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Orton was with the Wizards during preseason.
  • Derrick Rose‘s latest knee injury could lead to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s departure, according to Nancy Armour of USA Today. Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls management was already strained, Armour reveals, and Rose is one of his most fervent supporters. Losing Rose for perhaps the rest of the season could lead to Thibodeau, who has two years left on his contract, and the team cutting ties, Armour opines.
  • The Hawks will try to re-sign  Pero Antic when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Antic has struggled with his shooting in a reserve role this season, averaging 28.7% on three-point attempts, but that hasn’t changed the Hawks’ thinking, Vivlamore adds.
  • Magic COO Alex Martins says the team will not interview head coaching candidates until after season, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. James Borrego is the interim coach for the remainder of the season after Jacque Vaughn was fired earlier this month.
  • Forest City Enterprises, the Ratner parent company,  confirms it’s looking to sell its shares in Nets and Barclays Center, NetsDaily tweets. Bruce Ratner is a minority owner of the Nets after selling 80% of the club to Mikhail Prokhorov in 2010.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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