Atlantic Notes: King, Thomas, Ainge, Young

The Nets will be almost certainly be picking 29th thanks to their pick swap with the Hawks as called for in the Joe Johnson trade, but it would appear to be in keeping with owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s philosophy.

“If you analyze a championship team, 20% is draft picks and 80% of it is trades,” Prokhorov said to reporters Wednesday, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

Prokhorov expressed comfort with GM Billy King and praised his “bold” approach, Prokhorov also said, complimenting coach Lionel Hollins, too, seemingly indicating that both will be back next season, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. We passed along more from Prokhorov’s chat with the media earlier today, and there’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Lance Thomas has started 33 games this season and 20 with the Knicks, earning praise from team president Phil Jackson, and the New Jersey native signaled a desire to re-sign with New York in unrestricted free agency this summer. Thomas made his remarks in a video interview with Jonah Ballow of“My experience as a Knick has been great, and I hope it doesn’t end,” Thomas said. “This is my hometown team, and I would love to represent New York, so I’m going to do everything in my power to hopefully make that happen.”
  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is impressed with how his roster has performed after all the trades he pulled off, as Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe details. Ainge named soon-to-be free agents Jae Crowder and Brandon Bass among several he believes have excelled.
  • The Kevin Garnett/Thaddeus Young trade has been a steal for the Nets, argues Daniel LoGuidice of NetsDaily, who believes the arrival of Young, and not the resurgence of Brook Lopez, was the true catalyst for Brooklyn’s late-season run for a playoff spot. Bontemps, writing in a separate piece, believes Young’s on-court presence has helped Lopez operate so effectively. Young hasn’t decided on his player option for next season but has said he wants to remain in Brooklyn.

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