The Pacers strengthened their bench, the Nets made a big splash by landing Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Andrei Kirilenko, and the Bulls will have Derrick Rose back. Nonetheless, the Heat remain the favorites in the Eastern Conference for 2013/14, according to Hoops Rumors readers. Nearly half of you named Miami the best team in the East in last night's poll, with Indiana receiving about 24% of the vote, followed by Chicago (about 16%) and Brooklyn (12%). Here are a few more items from around the East:
- Ivan Johnson has been in talks with the Knicks, but the possibility of the two sides reaching an agreement may be dwindling since Jeremy Tyler signed with the team, tweets Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Before Beno Udrih agreed to sign with the Knicks, the Grizzlies were the other primary suitor for him, and the Sixers also had interest, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). A chance to win with the Knicks was the deciding factor in Udrih's decision, says Begley.
- Tim Bontemps of the New York Post spoke to future NBA commissioner Adam Silver about the Nets' offseason spending, and Brooklyn's willingness to pay substantial tax penalties. As Silver notes, the league sought a hard cap during 2011's CBA negotiations, in the hopes that "the teams that have disparate resources are all competing with roughly the same number of chips."
- Jeff Teague tells Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld that he realizes his new long-term contract comes with a greater responsibility for the Hawks' success, and that he's ready for a larger role.
- In his latest mailbag for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman wonders if a healthy Greg Oden could affect Chris Bosh's role and future with the Heat. Of course, Oden would have to prove he can be healthy and productive before the effect on Bosh could really be evaluated.