The Celtics and Sixers account for one-sixth of the 60 total draft choices this year, as we pointed out last week (Twitter link), but the rest of the Atlantic Division isn’t so replete with picks. The Nets have two picks, though they won’t be picking as highly as they would have in the first round had they not allowed the Hawks to switch picks under the terms of the Joe Johnson trade. The Knicks, who fell in the lottery, and the Raptors only have one selection apiece. Here’s more on the draft and other matters from the Atlantic:
- NetsDaily’s Reed Wallach examines needs the Nets can fill through the draft, writing that Brooklyn would be likely to use a higher pick on a point guard if the team indeed trades up as GM Billy King said he would try to do. The Nets have the 29th and 41st picks.
- Danny Ainge is firmly in control of the draft process for the Celtics, yet Brad Stevens takes an interest and was more engaged than many of his counterparts on other NBA teams at the draft combine, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald examines.
- Knicks president Phil Jackson expressed fond wishes for J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni (on Twitter), all conference finals participants whom the Knicks traded away this season, citing his desire for them to find their “comfort zones.” That led Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com to wonder why they couldn’t find comfort zones on Jackson’s Knicks.