Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Diogu, Knicks, Nets

No Atlantic teams were in action on the NBA’s opening night, but all five are ready to go tonight, including three preparing to host their home openers. While the Nets play in Cleveland, the Celtics will visit the Raptors, the Sixers will host the Heat, and the Knicks will be in action at MSG against the Bucks.

As we look forward to all five Atlantic teams getting their seasons underway, let’s check out a few notes from out of the division:

  • According to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, new Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and CEO Tim Leiweke don’t share Bryan Colangelo‘s belief that Toronto is just a piece or two away from being a legit contender, and would prefer to blow things up to move forward. However, as the season gets underway, Ujiri has “a whole lot of houses for sale, not that many viewings, and almost no buyers,” writes Simmons.
  • Knicks camp invitee Josh Powell will head to China to play with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, but according to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, that opportunity arose after fellow Knick invitee Ike Diogu turned down an offer from the team. Diogu, who played for Guangdong last season, didn’t want to return due to poor management, but is considering other options in China, says Iannazzone (Twitter links).
  • While many of their Eastern Conference rivals made bigger offseason splashes, the Knicks‘ notable moves included acquiring Andrea Bargnani and signing Metta World Peace. Nonetheless, James Dolan’s expectations are high — he believes the team has enough talent to win an NBA title this year, says Ian Begley of
  • Despite being one of the highest-paid players in the NBA, Joe Johnson is happy to fly under the radar on the new-look Nets, as Fred Kerber of the New York Post details.
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