Eastern Rumors: Copeland, Jackson, Nets

Chris Copeland is intensive care in a New York hospital and will remain there for the next two or three days, a source tells ESPN’s Josina Anderson (Twitlonger link). The Pacers combo forward and soon-to-be free agent was the victim of a stabbing early Wednesday morning, and the attack left him with a punctured diaphragm, according to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. He also suffered lacerations on his left hand, Anderson hears. Copeland didn’t engage in an argument or initiate any altercation, a source tells Buckner. While we hope for the best for Copeland, here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Knicks owner James Dolan expressed continued faith in team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills and again insisted that he wouldn’t meddle with the team as he spoke in an interview with Matthew Belloni of The Hollywood Reporter. “You got to believe, baby!” Dolan said, when asked if Jackson is still worth his $12MM annual salary. “I believe, I believe!”
  • The Nets want Brook Lopez back, as owner Mikhail Prokhorov on Wednesday made clear to reporters, including Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Still, the owner acknowledged the primary choice rests with the center, who has a player option worth more than $16.744MM, as Bontemps relays. “We need him,” Prokhorov said. “I think the Brooklyn Nets, it’s his home.” 
  • Brooklyn would pay the repeater tax if they’re a taxpayer again next season, and the return of Lopez would make that a strong possibility. Still, Prohorov said he’d be willing to do so, Bontemps notes. Prokhorov also insists he never sought to sell a majority stake in the Nets and said that while he’s been approached by 10 people with interest in buying a minority share, there’s nothing on the table for now, notes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
  • The Cavs have some interest in Salah Mejri, a center playing for Spain’s Real Madrid, as Chema de Lucas of Gigantes Del Basket hears (translation via HoopsHype). The 28-year-old who went undrafted in 2008 is averaging 4.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game.

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