Eastern Notes: Knicks, Colangelo, Bulls

The Knicks season ended last night when the Pacers defeated them in Indiana to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Knicks were the oldest team in NBA history for the 2012/13 season, and they have a lot of offseason decisions to reach in lieu of their loss to the Pacers

The first such decision concerns the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith. Smith recently reiterated his desire to remain in a Knicks uniform next year despite the popular consensus he'll opt out of the contract that will pay him $2.9MM next season. He tweeted about wanting to return (Twitter link) today as SheridonHoops.com's Ben Baroff pointed out. But Smith isn't the only question mark as the Knicks head into the offseason after their best playoff performance in more than a decade.

  • Despite a postseason showing that saw them get out of the first round for the first time since the 1999/00 season, Howard Beck at the New York Times writes that with very little cap flexbility, the Knicks' window for continued postseason magic may have run out. 
  • Ian Begley at ESPNNewYork.com brings readers through five pressing issues the Knicks face this summer, including what to do with Amar'e Stoudemire, who didn't start a single game this season after Carmelo Anthony agreed to play power forward in Mike Woodson's small-ball lineup. Begley also discusses whether the Knicks will continue to go small next season.
  • One of the injuries hampering Knicks franchise star Carmelo Anthony this postseason, was his left shoulder. Frank Isola of New York Daily News says Anthony will have his injured left shoulder examined
  • Another Eastern Conference team that was eliminated in the conference semifinals, the Bulls, are looking to get healthy this offseason while figuring out what to do in free agency, writes Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com. The free agency questions center around their backcourt, since Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli are free agents this summer and the Bulls are not likely to pick up Richard Hamilton's $5MM option next year, but will have to pay him the $1MM that's guaranteed.
  • Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com also writes that the Bulls' draft picks, they hold the 20th and 49th overall selections this June, could be a lot better than expected in what is considered a down draft year. A lot of players predicted to be selected in the later rounds of the draft performed well in Chicago's predraft combine this past week.
  •  Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun, says it's time for Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo to go, and with reports the Raptors are pursuing current Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri, the end appears close for Colangelo. The Raptors are expected to make a decision about their future general manager some time tomorrow after Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reported the Raptors have until Monday to exercise or decline their option on Colangelo for the 2013/14 season. 

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