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Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Colangelo, Thornton

The Sixers serve as a case of what might have been for the Raptors had Knicks owner James Dolan not vetoed the trade proposal that would have sent Kyle Lowry from Toronto to New York two years ago, Sportsnet’s Michael Grange notes. Toronto planned to rebuild but instead wound up one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams, and coach Dwane Casey is grateful, as Grange relays.

“Not speaking about any specific team, but in general it’s got to be tough,” Casey said about a steady diet of losing. “You need to see some rewards to reinforce what you’re talking about, what you’re preaching, because sooner or later, if there’s no rewards at the end of the rainbow, guys kind of tune it out. It’s important that they see some rewards, any team, at any level.”
Still, it’s unclear if the Raptors are any closer to a title than the Sixers are, given the uncertainty of whether Toronto’s core is strong enough to compete at the highest level, Grange adds. See more from the Atlantic:
  • A pair of remarks from Sixers chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo last week make it difficult to envision him contributing only in a part-time capacity, even as he’ll continue to live in Phoenix, observes John Gonzalez of Colangelo told Bickley & Marotta of Arizona Sports 98.7 that Adam Silver and Josh Harris called him “pleading for some help” (audio link) and said to Angelo Cataldi of SportsRadio 94 WIP in Philadelphia that he would never accept a situation in which unaccomplished executives could overrule him (audio link).
  • The Sixers would be unwise to disenfranchise GM Sam Hinkie and completely abandon his rebuilding program, considering how far they’ve come and the promise that lies ahead in the 2016 draft, opines Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
  • Celtics draftee Marcus Thornton won’t be with the Sydney Kings of Australia much longer, a source tells international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Thornton, the point guard from William & Mary whom Boston took with the 45th overall pick this year, signed with Sydney in July after reportedly assuring the Celtics before the draft that he was willing to play overseas. Thornton is not to be confused with the veteran shooting guard who plays for the Rockets.

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