Atlantic Notes: Love, Sullinger, Tax, Jackson

Kevin Love would be much more likely to sign with the Lakers this summer if he were to leave the Cavs than to sign with the Celtics, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. It’s unclear if hard feelings over Kelly Olynyk‘s role in Love’s injury are at the root of a change or if Deveney is simply hearing different chatter than what Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports heard when he wrote last month that the C’s had closed the gap on the Lakers for Love. In any case, the C’s pursuit of Love last summer made it clear to Boston that a trade package centered around Jared Sullinger won’t be enough to land a star, as Deveney also writes in his look at the Celtics offseason. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have no interest in paying the luxury tax next season, when they would be in line for harsh repeat offender penalties if they did, league sources have long insisted to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. That’s in contrast to owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s insistence a month ago that the team would pay the tax. In any case, avoiding the tax would almost certainly entail a trade of Deron Williams or, more likely, Joe Johnson, if Brook Lopez re-signs as expected, Bontemps writes.
  • In the same piece, Bontemps looks at ways for the Nets to add quickness at the point and more shooting, two areas Lionel Hollins singled out for improvement in his season-ending press conference this past weekend.
  • The decision Knicks owner James Dolan made to hire Isiah Thomas as president of the New York Liberty, Dolan’s WNBA team, raises questions about how the dynamic will affect Knicks president Phil Jackson, asserts Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. That’s in spite of the insistence of Thomas that he’ll have no role with the Knicks, whom he used to serve as coach and executive. Harvey Araton of The New York Times thinks it could only be a positive for Jackson, given Dolan’s strong financial commitment to the Zen Master and the notion that Dolan’s insertion of Thomas into the dynamic would absolve Jackson of some of the blame if the Knicks fail to pull out of their tailspin (Twitter links).

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