Eastern Notes: Casey, Payton, Wittman

If the Raptors had failed to make it past the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, coach Dwane Casey would have likely lost his job, league sources told Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The other notable development in Toronto during the postseason is the stellar play of center Bismack Biyombo, who is likely pricing himself out of a return to the Raptors with the team only holding the big man’s Non-Bird rights, Lowe notes. Some rival executives are wondering if the team will try and trade center Jonas Valanciunas this offseason in order to create the necessary cap room to re-sign Biyombo, the scribe relays.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Magic point guard Elfrid Payton could be one of the players who will benefit most from the arrival of new coach Frank Vogel, and the young playmaker is pleased with the hire, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays. “I’m pretty excited,” Payton said of Vogel coaching the Magic. “I trust [GM] Rob [Hennigan], so whatever he’s with, I’m with. … Coach and I spoke briefly. Everybody [on the team] seems pretty excited about the hire.”
  • The Pistons could benefit by adding depth at point guard via the draft and potential targets for the team include Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame) and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky), David Mayo of MLive opines. The top two point guards, Kris Dunn (Providence) and Jamal Murray (Kentucky), are expected to be off the board when Detroit selects at No. 18 overall. Mayo notes.
  • Former Wizards coach Randy Wittman relates well to veteran players, gets his roster to buy in defensively and has a career record that compares favorably to Vogel, new Kings coach Dave Joerger and new Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic writes in his look at Wittman’s chances of landing another head coaching slot.

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Arthur Hill
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

People talk about centers being phased out as more teams adopt small-ball philosophies, but a lot of teams will be lined up to either sign Biyombo or trade for Valanciunas.

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