Atlantic Notes: Chris Smith, J.R. Smith, 76ers, Oden

A left knee injury to Chris Smith in training camp derailed the possibility that he'd join his brother on the Knicks this past season, but it appears a strong possibility the two will be together in New York for 2013/14. Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Chris Smith has fired agent Mark Cornstein and will replace him with Leon Rose, the same agent who reps his brother. A report in February indicated the Knicks still plan to sign Chris Smith. Berman expects J.R. Smith to re-sign with the Knicks for a four-year deal with a starting salary around $5MM unless another team swoops in with a larger offer. We rounded up more on the Knicks earlier today, and here's the latest on their division rivals:
  • One NBA executive tells Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News that he isn't sure new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie can handle the team's basketball decisions. "I don't think they are leaning on Rod Thorn as much as they should or he wants and I heard there still might be changes to the front office," the exec said. Another rival executive tells Cooney the Sixers have put their coaching search on the backburner.
  • Hinkie was part of a Rockets front office that was aggressive in making moves that allowed the team to acquire a star player, and he says he'll bring that approach to the Sixers, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Greg Oden is drawing rave reviews for his workouts of late, but Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn't give the impression that signing the erstwhile No. 1 overall pick is high on his to-do list, observes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. "We’ll look into Greg still," Ainge said. "He wasn’t ready to play when we saw him last. He wasn’t ready to work out — I mean, not like a real workout. We’ll probably check into that some time this summer."
  • Bulpett hears that Doc Rivers isn't high on 2012 first-rounder Fab Melo, but Ainge disputes the idea, pointing out that Rivers didn't get much of chance to see the former Syracuse center who spent much of his rookie season in the D-League.
  • Bill Walker, who split five NBA seasons between the Knicks and Celtics, has signed to play in Venezuela with Trotamundos de Carabobo, while Mardy Collins, a first-round draft pick of the Knicks in 2006, has joined Guaros de Lara, another Venezuelan team, as Sportando's Emiliano Carchia passes along in a pair of reports

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