Eastern Notes: Knicks, Celtics, Booker, Cavs

Knicks GM Steve Mills denies last month’s report that he met with Phil Jackson about the possibility of the Zen Master coaching the team, though he admits that the team’s pursuit of Jackson, now team president, caused “problems” with coach Mike Woodson. Mills made his comments to Spike Lee in an interview airing tonight on SiriusXM NBA Radio, and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com provides an early peek. Mills also said that he feels he and Jackson can “do something special” as they work together in the Knicks front office. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Danny Ainge wants to “blow off some fireworks” with splashy moves this summer, but he isn’t making promises, as he said today in his weekly radio appearance on 98.5 the Sports Hub (transcription via Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com). Ainge reiterated that he’s looking for rim protection and said he’s also seeking a “closer.” The Celtics boss also expressed concern about the injury history of soon-to-be free agent Avery Bradley, though Ainge once more spoke of the team’s interest in the guard.
  • Trevor Booker started his 41st game for the Wizards on Wednesday, so the value of the qualifying offer the Wizards must make to keep him from unrestricted free agency this summer has risen from $3,420,443 to $4,677,708. I explained last month that Booker was approaching the league’s “starter criteria” for restricted free agents.
  • The Cavs have assigned Sergey Karasev and Scotty Hopson to their D-League affiliate in Canton, the D-League team announced (Twitter link). Karasev and Hopson, who’d just been recalled to Cleveland on Wednesday, will be available for Canton’s playoff game tonight.
  • We rounded up more on the Cavs and other Central Division news earlier today.
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