Atlantic Notes: J.R. Smith, Pierce, Murry, Knicks

Earlier this afternoon, I asked Hoops Rumors readers to vote on the offseason's best head coaching hire in the Eastern Conference. While several choices are bunched together in the middle of the pack so far, Brad Stevens of the Celtics has emerged as the clear top choice. It seems that many of you are fans of Boston's bold decision to hire the 36-year-old Stevens away from Butler and place him in charge of the team's rebuild. Here's more from around the Atlantic:

  • J.R. Smith tells Jared Zwerling of (Twitter link) that his free agent negotiations with the Knicks weren't a "long, drawn-out process," since he hopes to eventually retire with the club.
  • In an interview with Adam Figman of SLAM Online, Paul Pierce says that he and Kevin Garnett didn't want to be part of a rebuilding process with the Celtics, and addresses a number of other topics of note.
  • Bernie Lee, the agent for Toure Murry, tells Shams Charania of that his client remains in discussions with the Knicks, and will visit two other NBA teams within the next week before hopefully deciding on a deal. After signing Beno Udrih, the Knicks may not have interest in Murry on anything more than a training camp invite, though that's my speculation.
  • The Knicks officially announced Udrih's signing earlier today.

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