Nets execs believe there’s a trade market for Deron Williams, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. While Williams is obviously nowhere near what he once was, those execs feel that another team will find that he is just in need of a change of scenery. Of course, a skeptic would point to his surgically repaired knees as a larger problem than personalities clashing in Brooklyn. Here’s more from the Atlantic..
- The Celtics don’t have a history of landing difference makers in free agency, but they have every reason to believe this summer will be different, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. Blakely points to Boston’s major market appeal and their available cash as major reasons for hope. Conversely, however, players and agents have indicated to him that they won’t be landing one of the top three or four players via free agency.
- The Celtics will be prioritizing high-character guys in free agency and they showed a commitment to that philosophy in the draft, as Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald writes. The C’s, for example, had interest in Robert Upshaw, but were turned off by his substance-abuse issues. “With a young team, I don’t think we really needed to deal with that,” a C’s source said of Upshaw.
- After reports indicated that Carmelo Anthony was unhappy with the selection of Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks star reached out to the rookie, Ian Begley of ESPN.com writes. “Carmelo reached out to Kris after all of that. It was beautiful that a player of that profile can do something like that. It’s great,” Porzingis’ older brother, Janis, confirmed on Monday during an appearance on ESPN 98.7 FM’s “The Hahn and Humpty Show.”
- New Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. says he will use Knicks president Phil Jackson’s critical remarks about him Friday as motivation, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Jackson said he believed Jerian Grant has more of the attributes the Knicks want from a guard. “Once I heard him say that, all hands on deck now,” said Hardaway, who was sent to Atlanta in exchange for the pick that was used to take the Notre Dame standout. “Obviously as a basketball player, you take that to heart. So, it’s time to move on, get better, and when the time comes, the time comes. Right now, it’s all about Atlanta basketball.”
- Jackson’s recruiting strategy is to sell prospective free agents on winning with the Knicks rather than New York business opportunities, an NBA exec tells Berman.
- Celtics GM Danny Ainge says draft-and-stash prospect Marcus Thornton will most likely be in the D-League or in Europe next season, Adam Himmeslbach of The Boston Globe tweets. Thornton, a product of William & Mary, is not to be confused with the veteran guard of the same name.
- Raptors GM Masai Ujiri says his team will be “open-minded and open for business” while still keeping its core intact, Eric Koreen of the National Post writes. The core he is likely referring to is the trio of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Jonas Valanciunas.
- The Raptors are finalizing an agreement to hire former Thunder assistant Rex Kalamian as part of Dwane Casey‘s staff, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.