Atlantic Notes: McDaniels, Thomas, Knicks

Sixers rookie K.J. McDaniels could be a hot commodity this summer, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Coming out of Clemson, McDaniels expected to be drafted in the first round, but slipped all the way to the 32nd pick. He is playing on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth just $507,336 and can become a restricted free agent next summer. Philadelphia offered two guaranteed years and a little more cash, but he turned it down for an earlier shot at free agency.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • The deal that Malcolm Thomas signed this week with the Sixers is a non-guaranteed four-year arrangement for the minimum salary, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The final season is both non-guaranteed and a team option, as Pincus denotes on his salary page for Philly.
  • Phil Jackson’s insistence on using the triangle offense may be sabotaging Knicks‘ coach Derek Fisher, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Fisher is off to a 5-25 start, the fifth worst winning percentage for anyone who has coached at least 30 games, and there are calls around the city to scrap the offense that Jackson used to win 11 NBA rings. However, a source close to Fisher contends the problem is the team’s lack of talent. “He has taken on a terrible roster situation thanks to owner meddling and mismanagement back to the Zeke [Isiah Thomas] days,” the unidentified source said. “There are at least a half-dozen terrible teams in this league, and they’re one of them.’’
  • The Celtics have more rotation players than they need right now, reports Chris Forsberg of After last week’s trade that sent Rajon Rondo to Boston for Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder, Boston now has 15 rotation-worthy players on its roster but no real stars. That can create headaches for coach Brad Stevens as he tries to allocate playing time. “[It’s] still going to take a lot of time,” Stevens said after Tuesday’s loss in Orlando. “… I think one of the things that I’m going to eventually be looking for is clear answers and I don’t think that we leave this road trip with those.”
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