Atlantic Rumors: Nets, Celtics, J.R. Smith

Mikhail Prokhorov, in London for today’s Nets-Hawks game, said that he was never close to making changes when the Nets were playing their worst this season, and the owner also expressed confidence in GM Billy King and coach Jason Kidd. Prokhorov added that he has no intention of selling the team anytime soon. Newsday’s Roderick Boone and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News round up his comments via Twitter, and there’s more from Nets ownership suite among the day’s news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Gerald Wallace is upset with his role on the Celtics, and also feels the Nets “disrespected” him by trading him to a rebuilding club, observes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald“This season is a slap in the face, having to change my game and fine-tune it,” Wallace said. “First of all, it has to come mentally. You accept your situation, but there’s two sides to your brain. One side is fighting the other side because of the predicament you’re in. You feel you can still perform at the level you always have, but at the same time, you’re doubting yourself.”
  • One of Prokhorov’s advisers seems to have overtaken the role of another, with Sergei Kushchenko now exerting more influence on the Nets than Dmitry Razumov has, as Tim Bontemps of the New York Post explains.
  • There was no chance the Celtics were going to keep soon-to-be restricted free agent Jordan Crawford beyond the season, writes Herald scribe Steve Bulpett, who sees Wednesday’s trade of Crawford and MarShon Brooks as a move made with only the future in mind.
  • An Eastern Conference personnel man tells Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that if Knicks GM Steve Mills finds a taker for J.R. Smith, “he’ll be pulling a fast one” on whatever team ends up with the swingman.
  • Ian O’Connor of wonders if Mike Woodson‘s public support for Smith has to do with their mutual ties to the Creative Artists Agency. The Knicks would be better off waiving Smith this summer and using the stretch provision to spread out his remaining cap hits, O’Connor believes.

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