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Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Hardaway, Draft

Sixers fans should expect a more competitive team next season, opines Tom Moore of Calkins Media. After two straight years of tanking and collecting assets, Moore sees the 2015/16 season as a “modified” tanking situation, forecasting something in the neighborhood of 25 to 29 victories. Philadelphia should make several lineup improvements during the offseason. Rookie center Joel Embiid, who hasn’t played this season after undergoing foot surgery, is expected to be healthy, and Philadelphia will have its own pick plus Miami’s and maybe others in June’s draft. The Sixers could also have up to $40MM in available cap space, although GM Sam Hinkie hasn’t committed to using it.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nuggets were interested in Glenn Robinson III, who was claimed today off waivers by the Sixers, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Robinson had been waived Thursday by the Timberwolves to create room for Justin Hamilton, whom Minnesota claimed on waivers.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr., who was mentioned in trade talks prior to the deadline, has struggled during his second season in the NBA. When discussing the future of the slumping Knicks sophomore, coach Derek Fisher said, “Well, he is under contract for next year,” Fred Kerber of The New York Post relays. Fisher then expanded on Hardaway’s growth, adding, “Timmy has a great deal of potential as a young guard. He is showing more skill in handling the basketball and playing defense. Every guy on every team thinks he can score and there are plenty of guys who are willing to shoot the ball every time they get it. How many guys are willing to play defense every night and be the type of guy that’s going to do some of the dirty work? Tim is turning the corner in that area.”
  • The Knicks may choose between two Kentucky players if they get an early pick in June’s draft, writes Frank Isola of New York Daily News. Mark Warkentien, the Knicks’ top scout, has reportedly attended nearly a dozen Kentucky practices, presumably for a closer look at Wildcats big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein. The Knicks currently occupy the top spot in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

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