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Atlantic Notes: Williams, Jerebko, Johnson

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov declined to discuss Deron Williams when asked about the team’s former player by reporters, but he instead took the time to praise the team’s projected starting point guard, Jarrett Jack, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post writes. “I will say in that way that we have a great leader at point guard in Jarrett Jack,” Prokhorov said. “All the league knows what Jarrett is about.” Prokhorov then added, “I will say that I discussed all the player moves with [GM] Billy [King], and I signed off on all of them.” Williams and the team reached a buyout arrangement back in July.

Prokhorov also admitted that his expectations for the team have changed, but he did note that he was pleased with the overall direction of the franchise, Bontemps adds. “I think Billy has made great deals to give us top players, and if the stars [had aligned] correctly, we might have seen better results,” Prokhorov said of the team’s all-in moves in the past. “But we are still committed. We have a younger, more athletic team, and we have great flexibility to go on.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • When asked why the Knicks‘ roster is so frontcourt heavy, coach Derek Fisher said that wasn’t the initial intent, but the team was surprised that center Kevin Seraphin was still available late into the free agent signing period, and he was too good to pass up, Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal relays (Twitter links).
  • Jonas Jerebko‘s versatility as a player should allow him to maintain a prominent role for the Celtics despite their overcrowded frontcourt, writes Chris Forsberg of The 28-year-old forward re-signed with Boston over the summer on a two-year, $10MM deal.
  • The Raptors will miss Amir Johnson, who’d served as a mentor to DeMar DeRozan since the shooting guard entered the league, Mike Ganter of The Toronto Sun writes. “Once you are somewhere with a person for that long that you have a long history with, that is definitely tough to replace,” DeRozan said. “It takes time to get that back and gain that back from an individual. That’s a big part of it. But we’re going to miss a lot without him. Just his attitude and demeanor, being a great guy and a great teammate, that rubs off on people. He will definitely be missed.” Johnson departed as a free agent and signed with the Celtics this offseason.

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