Atlantic Rumors: D-Will, Bogans, Celtics, Rasheed

Commissioner David Stern, speaking to reporters in Milan, said European expansion is a long way off, but believes that when it happens, there should be five teams in Europe rather than just one, as A. Sherrod Blakely of notes. That would be enough for an entire division. For now, the easternmost division of the NBA is the Atlantic, and we'll roundup up the latest rumblings from that group of five teams here:

  • TNT's David Aldridge, as part of a lengthy look around the league, reveals that Deron Williams was recruiting Joe Johnson before the trade that brought Johnson to the Nets, and before Williams spurned the Mavs to re-sign with the Nets as well. "Four or five days before the trade, Deron called me," Johnson said, referring to the swap that the Hawks and Nets agreed to on July 2nd, the second day of free agency. "He said, 'what do you think about coming to Brooklyn?' I was like, 'man, where are you getting this from?' … I don't know what kind of strings he was pulling, but he made it happen."
  • Nets trainers worked with Keith Bogans after the team waived him following a season-ending injury last year, and Bogans said that's why he's back with the team, according to NetsDaily"From the time my ankle broke through the rehab and all the way back, I haven’t been treated the way I’ve been treated here in my whole career," he said.
  • The early returns on Jared Sullinger indicate that he could be a steal for the CelticsJohn Schuhmann of says, while Darko Milicic is making a positive impact as well, as Greg Payne of writes.
  • With a lack of depth up front and other aging players like Marcus Camby already beginning to break down, Rasheed Wallace will likely be more than an insurance policy for the Knicks if he makes the regular season roster, according to Keith Schlosser of Knicks Journal

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