Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Rondo, Celtics, Knicks

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri believes that he should let his team continue to grow, stocked as it is with plenty of young players around 28-year-old Kyle Lowry, as he tells Sportsnet’s Michael Grange. It’s more or less the same stance he’s taken ever since the Rudy Gay trade, which went down one year ago today,

“This is the time to let it sit and play itself out,” Ujiri said to Grange. “It’s not the time to play poker, not now.”

Of course, deception is often the key to a skilled poker player, and the Raptors have reason to act now if they’re going to make a move, since a trade exception worth more than $4.583MM that’s left over from the Gay trade expires at the end of today. Nonetheless, it seems only logical to take Ujiri at his word with the Raptors at 16-5 heading into tonight’s clash with the Cavs. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Scouts and player personnel officials tell Shaun Powell of that Rajon Rondo is no longer the sort of player who can command a blockbuster return in a trade. That’s mostly because of a market flooded with quality point guards, Powell writes, wondering if the Celtics would have received more if they had traded Rondo around the time of this year’s draft.
  • The Celtics have sent rookies James Young and Dwight Powell to the D-League again, the team announced (Twitter link). It’s the fifth time that each has been on assignment to the Maine Red Claws this season. Young and Powell are the top two scorers for Boston’s D-League affiliate, checking in at 23.3 and 22.3 points per game, respectively.
  • Phil Jackson is being careful not to step into coach Derek Fisher‘s territory, but closer interaction between the Zen Master and Knicks players couldn’t hurt, opines Marc Berman of the New York Post.
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