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Eastern Notes: Williams, Knicks, Celtics

There have been reports that the Knicks intend to trade down in the NBA Draft if Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, and D’Angelo Russell are off the board when New York is set to pick at No. 4 overall. As for what team president Phil Jackson is seeking in return for the fourth pick, in his weekly chat Chad Ford of (Insider subscription required) relays that the Knicks want a young veteran player and a pick in the 8 to 14 range. One player who New York has been linked to in that draft range is fast-rising playmaker Cameron Payne of Murray State, who would fill a glaring need for the franchise at the point guard spot.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams is expected to receive strong interest from teams that include the Kings, Lakers, Knicks, and Nets, providing a clear competition for the Raptors to retain his services, Shams Charania of RealGM writes. Williams is expected to seek a three-year deal in the range of $27MM or four years for $35MM, Charania adds.
  • The Celtics held workouts today for Kevon Looney (UCLA), Brandon Ashley (Arizona), JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova), and Maurice NDour (Ohio), Chris Forsberg of relays (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards will hold workouts on Thursday for Justin Anderson (Virginia), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), Jordan Mickey (LSU), Aaron White (Iowa), Derek Cooke Jr. (Wyoming), and Maxie Esho (UMass), Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Working out for the Cavaliers today were Josh Richardson (Tennessee) and Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops notes (on Twitter).
  • The Hornets are hoping that newly acquired Spencer Hawes can help replace the outside shooting the team lost when Josh McRoberts signed with the Heat last offseason, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “In the offseason you try to make your team fit better together, and I think that’s what this trade does. Our defense is more than good enough to win and our offense isn’t,” Clifford said. “If you look more specifically into the numbers [the flaw] is our [long] range shooting. What Spencer will do is improve our range shooting and he’s also a very good passer.

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