Atlantic Notes: Monroe, Sixers, Celtics

The Knicks have a good shot at signing Greg Monroe during the offseason, opines Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman admits that New York may have a hard time landing marquee players given its bleak situation, but he believes Monroe, as well as restricted free agent Tobias Harris, could be an exception. Last offseason, Monroe signed his qualifying offer in Detroit which will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year. Such a move was a strong signal that the Georgetown product wanted to leave town but after the Pistons released Josh Smith, which cleaned up the team’s jumbled frontcourt situation and gave Monroe a better role, a divorce doesn’t seem as much of a certainty as it previously did. Still, out of the players on our Free Agent Power Rankings, Monroe, who owns seventh place on the list, is among the most likely to change teams during the offseason.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers are looking to acquire talent through the draft, but the team previously had talent on its roster and foolishly traded it away, opines former Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell in a piece for the Philadelphia Daily News. Governor Rendell lists Nikola Vucevic, Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday and Michael Carter-Williams among the players who could be contributors had the franchise not opted to trade them away instead. Vucevic and Iguodala were dealt away in the Andrew Bynum trade before current GM Sam Hinkie took over the team. As a result of the Hinkie’s moves, the SIxers could have up to four first-round picks in the 2015 draft, as our Draft Pick Tracker indicates.
  • The Celtics have had 40 different players on their roster since the start of the season, but even with a set of new faces on the court, Boston’s goals remain intact, writes Chris Forsberg of Coach Brad Stevens has high hopes for the team’s latest additions. “I’m really happy that Gigi [Datome], Jonas [Jerebko], and Isaiah [Thomas] are here. It’s more work for us, but it’s enjoyable work to try to figure out how this group can play its best together,” said Stevens. “That’s what you try to figure out with every group. I don’t know if we’ll be able to assess progress a whole lot, because we’re only together eight weeks, but hopefully we can extend that [into the postseason] and maybe we can feel really good about that.”
  • Despite losing Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green via trade and Jared Sullinger because of an injury, the Celtics remain in the hunt to make the playoffs, writes Julian Edlow of Avery Bradley, Boston’s longest tenured player, believes some of the new additions are key to the team’s success. “‘€Isaiah Thomas,”€ Bradley said without hesitation when asked what sparked the change in the team. “€œNot only him, Jae Crowder, I can go down the list. Everyone’€™s just buying in to what Brad [Stevens is] trying to do and that’€™s team basketball.” The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
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