All of the former NBA coaches and players who will be inducted this year into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame have Eastern Conference ties. Former Hawks, Sixers, Nets and Knicks center Dikembe Mutombo, one-time Nets coach John Calipari, former Knicks and Bullets power forward Spencer Haywood are going in, the Hall announced today, as Michael Marot of The Associated Press relays. Joining them are longtime Celtics point guard Jo Jo White and his coach, Tom Heinsohn, who was already in as a player. Louie Dampier, who played for the Spurs and most prominently with the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels, is also in this year’s Hall class, and while he doesn’t have a connection to any present-day Eastern team, San Antonio was in the East when he donned the silver-and-black. Here’s the latest on a few current-day notables from the East:
- Goran Dragic is almost certain to hit free agency this summer, but he made it clear he likes the idea of playing with Chris Bosh when the big man is expected to be healthy enough to hit the floor again next season, observes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Still, the Heat point guard cautioned that he hasn’t made up his mind about where he’ll sign, Winderman adds.
- The Knicks aren’t planning to commit any cap space to Andrea Bargnani next season and would prefer to re-sign him using the minimum-salary exception, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post, advancing his report from last month on the team’s openness to a new deal. Berman passes along comments from coach Derek Fisher indicating that he’d welcome the idea of having Bargnani back.
- There were rumors dating back to the summer that the Sixers were talking about trading Michael Carter-Williams, but the deadline deal that sent him to the Bucks took him by surprise, as he tells Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “I didn’t know it was coming,” he said. “But I’m in a good situation now. I’m trying to move on from it. It’s good to be stable and have teammates for more than however time. It’s good to know that I’m going to be here growing with guys and knowing the chemistry, just to build on relationships. [Losing in Philadelphia] was tough, but Philly treated me great. I’ve got nothing really bad to say about them. I’m a Milwaukee Buck now and I hope I’m here for a while.”