The Magic were ripped by fans and pundits alike when they dealt Dwight Howard and failed to receive a true impact player like Andrew Bynum in the trade. However, as Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel writes today, the team's decision not to take on Bynum and his balky knees is looking better now than it did at the time. The former Laker, who has been ruled out for three weeks, may end up being fine, but it's something of an ominous start for the Bynum era in Philadelphia, says Bianchi. Here are the rest of the morning's notes out of the Eastern Conference:
- Former NBA head coach John Lucas believes the Nets' signing of Andray Blatche could be the "steal of the summer," as Howard Beck of the New York Times writes. Of course, Lucas may be a little biased — Blatche spent three months this offseason working out in Houston under Lucas' tutelage.
- The Pacers are keeping an "open mind" about whether to carry 15 players into the regular season or whether to keep an open roster spot, according to GM Kevin Pritchard. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star says he would be "shocked" if Sam Young didn't earn a place on Indiana's roster.
- Ray Allen spoke on the Dan LeBatard Show in Miami about how Pat Riley influenced his decision to sign with the Heat, and Eric Schmoldt of Sports Radio Interviews has the transcript.
- Raymond Felton will get the first shot to start at point guard for the Knicks, and fellow free agent signee Jason Kidd doesn't mind assuming the backup role, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (Sulia link) explains why the Magic re-signed Jameer Nelson this summer and looks at whether they'd consider trading him later in the season.
- The Bulls' bench may include plenty of new faces, but Taj Gibson doesn't want to retire the "bench mob" moniker. Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Tribune writes that the team's new additions are looking to be just as productive as last year's second unit.