Atlantic Links: Sixers, Knicks, J.R. Smith, Celtics

The Sixers went most of last summer without signing a free agent, and that’s the plan again this time around, coach Brett Brown told reporters, including Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“No free agent is going to want to come to Philadelphia at this stage,” Brown said, explaining that the team is instead focused on developing young talent. “Why would a good free agent want to come in and be a part of a rebuild?”

The Sixers plan to wait another couple of years before attempting to make a splash on the market, Brown added, so it seems like they’ll be looking up at their Atlantic Division rivals for a while longer. Here’s the latest on a couple of them:

  • James Dolan and Steve Mills have already concluded that the Knicks roster requires a shakeup, despite the team’s run at a playoff spot, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post, who believes Phil Jackson‘s recent comments suggest the Zen Master agrees.
  • The desire for changes in New York doesn’t necessarily mean the Knicks will look to unload J.R. Smith, Berman writes in a separate piece.
  • With the Celtics in line for the fifth overall pick, as our Reverse Standings show, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge shares insight on how he scouts prospects, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald details.

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