The reaction to the Raptors' decision to grant DeMar DeRozan an incentive-laden four-year extension worth at least $38MM met with immediate criticism this evening, as it seemed the Raptors had overpaid. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, one of those initial critics, wonders about the timing of the commitment, but notes that the team made a similar move when they extended Andrea Bargnani, and he's turned out to be a bargain. Still, he believes both players are too inefficient to cover for their flaws (Twitter link). As we wait for more news as the extension deadline draws near, here's the latest from around the Atlantic Division.
- Nets GM Billy King admits he was making moves just to keep his job when he was GM of the Sixers, but he's been much more bold since taking over the Nets, writes Roderick Boone of Newsday.
- Despite a spate of injuries, Knicks coach Mike Woodson is confident his request that the team sign veteran players in the offseason will bear fruit, as Nate Taylor of The New York Times documents.
- Raymond Felton is anxious to vanquish the ghosts of Jeremy Lin, his predecessor as Knicks point guard, notes Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "Jeremy's gone," Felton said. "He's in Houston now. That's a lost cause. He's not coming back. It's my team. I'm the point guard. Me and (Jason) Kidd, so Jeremy Lin is in Houston. Only time he comes back is when he plays against us."
- No player will ever burst on the scene quite like Lin did last year, but Chris Copeland is the Knicks best candidate for a breakout season in 2012/13, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Though Jeff Green struggled in his first game since his offseason signing with the Celtics, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com says Green's best is yet to come.