Eastern Notes: Raptors, Wizards, Harkless

Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast hard, but it won't postpone Thursday's clash between the Knicks and Nets in Brooklyn, as had been feared. That's just one of many intriguing openers this week, including the Celtics' visit to Miami, where the Heat were presented with their championship rings. As the NBA tips off, we'll share some Eastern Conference news to go along with our update from the West earlier this evening.  

  • Raptors president and GM Bryan Colangelo admitted it's been difficult not to try to speed up his team's rebuilding process, as he tells Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun. "We passed on multiple opportunities to bring in players via transactions that would have thwarted our efforts," Colangelo said. "At times, it was tempting. But we had to stick to the plan. There has had to be a patience and strategy to every decision we’ve made. The deals we could have made were more of a tonic than a long-term solution."
  • Colangelo also shared his feelings about rookie Jonas Valanciunas, saying, "It’s become apparent that in order for us (to get better) Jonas needs to be thrown into the fire. The sooner he develops into a nightly contributor, the sooner we get closer to our goal.”
  • Wizards coach Randy Wittman said injuries to John Wall and Nene Hilario influenced the team's decision to keep Jannero Pargo and Earl Barron over Shelvin Mack and Brian Cook, reports Michael Lee of The Washington Post.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel believes the Magic should give rookie Maurice Harkless significant playing time this season so they can figure out whether the 19-year-old small forward is a building block for the future. 
  • A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com notes via Twitter that every player in the three-team trade that brought Courtney Lee to the Celtics has been waived except Lee and Sasha Pavlovic, whose presence on the Blazers roster is helped along by the fact the Celtics are paying his salary.
  • Carlos Boozer's five-year, $75MM contract obscures the valuable production he brings to the Bulls, argues Scoop Jackson of ESPN.com.
  • Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer saw lots of positives about the Cavs' youth movement in the team's opening-night win against the Wizards.

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