Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Bargnani, Shved, Johnson

Knicks GM Steve Mills says that the team didn’t strike out in free agency despite missing out on the top available names on the market, but instead New York focused on building a solid team to surround star forward Carmelo Anthony with, Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News relays. “We tried to be as clear as we could possibly be that we weren’t chasing the biggest stars,” Mills said. “That’s not how we’re trying to build this team. Obviously, when LaMarcus Aldridge says he wants to meet with you and he’s going to meet with six teams, we agree to go meet with him. DeAndre Jordan was willing to meet with us, so of course we go and meet him. And when you go in, you want guys to say yes. But our goal starting out with this was to spend our money wisely and to get guys in who we thought would bring this team along together and fill holes and as it turned out, we were better suited going with multiple guys as opposed to just going after one.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Former Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani, in an interview with La Gazetta (h/t to Ian Begley of, said he has several free agent options and hasn’t ruled out returning to play in Europe for the 2015/16 season.
  • Mills said that the Knicks could use their $2.8MM room exception to add some scoring punch to the team, and New York could look to ink guard Alexey Shved, Marc Berman of The New York Post relays (Twitter link). Shved, 26, appeared in 16 contests last season for the Knicks, averaging 14.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 26.4 minutes per game. He already rejected a minimum offer from the team, reports Begley (Twitter link).
  • In the wake of the Nets‘ reported buyout arrangement with point guard Deron Williams, the team now appears intent on keeping Joe Johnson, Marc Stein of relays (via Twitter). Stein’s sources inform him that moving Williams was always the team’s preferred option.
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