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Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Sixers, Portis

The Knicks are “enamored” with Kentucky forward Trey Lyles, according to Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Team president Phil Jackson reportedly sees Lyles as a perfect fit for the team’s triangle offense. But the question is, how would New York go about acquiring him? Isola writes that if the Knicks are serious about Lyles, they will probably make a move to trade down. Lyles is currently ranked as the 19th-best player in the draft by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and 12th overall by ESPN’s Chad Ford. An in-depth look at Lyles is part of Hoops Rumors’ Prospect Profile series.

There’s more draft news from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers should quickly scoop up Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor if either slips to the third spot in the draft, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. The centers from Kentucky and Duke are widely thought to be the first two players selected, but if something unexpected happens — like the Lakers deciding they would be happier with Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell — Moore thinks Philadelphia should accept it as good fortune.
  • Arkansas’ Bobby Portis has an unusual way of motivating himself, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. “I always envision someone hitting my mom,” Portis said after a recent pre-draft workout with the Celtics. “That’s something I do for myself because I want to make myself mad when I get on the court. It’s all business when I step on the hardwood.” Several years ago, Portis stopped a physical altercation between his mother and an angry boyfriend, and now he uses that experience as motivation for basketball. Portis has been projected anywhere from the late lottery to the 20th pick in the draft. The Celtics hold pick number 16.

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