Awful news out of Florida to start the week, as TMZ reports Amare Stoudemire's older brother was killed in a car crash this morning. Stoudemire is en route to Florida to be with his family, and will miss tonight's game against the Jazz. Our condolences go out to Amare and his family.
Here are the morning items out of the Atlantic division:
- The Knicks may have the advantage when J.R. Smith becomes an unrestricted free agent, says Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. New York can offer Smith more money than other suitors like the Clippers, along with a possible starting spot.
- Carmelo Anthony told reporters, including ESPNNewYork's Ian Begley, that he thinks Smith could handle New York and that he'd like to see the Knicks sign the former Nugget: "If it happens, it happens and I'll be happy."
- There's no timetable for Brook Lopez's return from his foot surgery, but his rehab is going well and he could return to practice soon, according to Colin Stephenson of the Star-Ledger. The Nets could use a healthy Lopez not only on the court, but also as a potential trade chip to acquire Dwight Howard.
- Lavoy Allen has become a valuable asset for the 76ers in the wake of multiple frontcourt injuries, writes Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News.