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Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Sullinger, Tokoto

Members of the Knicks’ front office were involved in trade discussions with the Magic, Suns, and Celtics in the hours leading up to Thursday night’s NBA Draft, Ian Begley of writes. Boston discussed a package that included multiple draft picks and Jared Sullinger with New York, and Phoenix also spoke with members of the Knicks about a trade involving Eric Bledsoe in the hours leading up to the draft, Begley adds. Team president Phil Jackson said the Knicks had talked to teams about potential offers but all the offers were contingent on which players were selected ahead of them, the ESPN scribe notes. “Those things fell the way they did. We had what we wanted and we went with it,” Jackson said.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher indicated that finding frontcourt help will be a priority once the free agent signing period begins, Begley also relays. “I don’t think it’s any secret we need to get some size up front, and I think that’ll be a big focus for us,” Fisher said. Potential targets include DeAndre Jordan, David West, Omer Asik, Greg Monroe, and Marc Gasol, Begley adds.
  • In addition to a pair of second round draft picks, the Nets also sent $880K to the Hornets as part of the deal to acquire the rights to Argentinian small forward Juan Vaulet, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily tweets. Brooklyn doesn’t intend for Vaulet to play in the NBA next season, Mike Mazzeo of relays (on Twitter).
  • According to multiple sources, the Sixers nabbed North Carolina swingman J.P. Tokoto with the No. 58 overall pick with the understanding that he would either play in the D-League or overseas next season, Jake Fischer of LibertyBallers reports (Twitter links). Tokoto will have the chance to compete for a roster spot, but told Philly he would be open to being stashed during the 2015/16 campaign, Fischer adds.
  • The Greivis Vasquez trade allowed the Raptors to generate a $6.4MM trade exception, since they gave him up without taking back any salary in return, notes Pincus (on Twitter), though with Toronto possessing only about $42.4MM in guaranteed salary for next season, it seems there’s a fair chance they’ll dip under the cap after the July Moratorium and renounce the exception.
  • The Nets could have created a $1,357,080 trade exception for Mason Plumlee if they decided to use their $2,339,131 Kevin Garnett trade exception to absorb Steve Blake, as Pincus presumes they’ve done (Twitter link). That would knock the Garnett exception down to $982,051. Alternatively, they could have taken Blake into the $3,326,235 Andrei Kirilenko exception and reduced its value to $1,969,155, a move the Nets might have preferred because the Kirilenko exception expires more than two months sooner than the Garnett exception does. The trade meanwhile allowed the Blazers to create an exception worth the $719,920 difference between the salaries of Blake and Plumlee, though that exception would vanish if they go under the cap, as they may well do if LaMarcus Aldridge ends up elsewhere.
  • The tiny $355,016 leftover portion of the trade exception that the Knicks generated in last year’s Tyson Chandler trade has expired. New York used the bulk of what was once a $3,637,073 exception to acquire Alexey Shved at the trade deadline. The  Tim Hardaway Jr. trade afforded the Knicks the chance to create a new $1,250,640 exception for his salary, as we noted, though that will disappear if the Knicks dip below the cap next month, as expected.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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