Eastern Notes: Thompson, Iverson, Knicks

Uncertainty over the future of the salary cap prevented Tristan Thompson from signing an extension with the Cavaliers, writes Terry Pluto of The Plain-Dealer. With a new TV contract taking effect during the summer of 2016, there are estimates that the cap could soar by 25%, dissuading players and teams from committing to long-term deals. Pluto notes that Thompson, represented by Rich Paul, who is also the agent for LeBron James, should have extra value because of the scarcity of quality big men. There’s more on the Cavs amid our look around the Eastern Conference:

  • Cavaliers coach David Blatt may be new to the NBA, but that didn’t stop him from tearing into his team following its opening-night loss to the Knicks, as Zach Harper of CBSSports,com details. “He got on us from the time we started our meeting to the time we left,” said Cavs star LeBron James“And it’s great. For a team like us, we need that.”  James said the first-year coach definitely got the players’ attention with his tirade.
  • The Celtics have to be encouraged by the play of former second-round pick Colton Iverson in the Euroleague, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of Celtics Insider. The 7-footer had 17 points and six rebounds and hit the game-winning basket for Kutxa Vitoria in a recent victory over Galatasaray Liv Hospital. “That’s my style of play,” Iverson said during his stint with the Celtics’ summer league team. “I’m always gonna be someone who is a pest to play against. I take pride in the way I play physical, and [being] a menace.” The Celtics acquired Iverson’s draft rights on draft night in 2013.
  • Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com blames a lack of talent, not the Knicks‘ new triangle offense, for the opening night blowout loss to the Bulls. O’Connor writes that even though the Knicks will be clearing a massive amount of cap room this summer, players such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol are unlikely to leave their current teams. O’Connor speculates that the Knicks could chase Rajon Rondo next summer, or endure another losing season and go after Kevin Durant in 2016.

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