Nets CEO Brett Yormark recently mentioned Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Bojan Bogdanovic as players to build around, and the team indeed intends to keep those four around rather than using them to replenish their depleted draft assets, NetsDaily hears. Yormark also alluded to some of the team’s younger players as building blocks without naming them, and the NetsDaily report speculates about who they might be.
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Celtics are thrilled with the play of Jae Crowder, whom the team re-signed over the summer to a five-year, $35MM deal, especially on the defensive end, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “Jae’s playing at a high level right now on both ends,” said coach Brad Stevens. “But we need him to defend the way he is. The thing about Jae that I think Jae has really improved on throughout the years: being in the right place at the right time from a position standpoint because he’s so … he’s a good physical defender when he’s there.”
- Knicks coach Derek Fisher is still struggling to find the right bench combination, and the playing time of rookie point guard Jerian Grant has taken a hit with veteran Sasha Vujacic assuming an expanded role, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. “We’re still trying to find a way to have five guys that are playing together, flowing together. Sasha obviously has familiarity and history with what we’re trying to do offensively,” Fisher said. “We continue to search for how to get ourselves organized and we feel like Sasha gave us a chance to do so.”
- The recent play of Terrence Ross is justifying the Raptors‘ decision to ink him to a three-year contract extension back in November, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes. “The big word is confidence. He’s playing with a tremendous amount of confidence. He’s seeing the ball go through the basket,” coach Dwane Casey said. “I think his defense has been solid, too. It’s not just his offense that’s been pretty solid, it’s his defense, both phases of the game.” Ross has scored 10 or more points in six straight games and is averaging 15.2 points per game over that span, while shooting 49% from the field and connecting on 47% of his 3-point attempts.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.