Atlantic Notes: Larkin, Nets, Lee

 Shane Larkin admits he had trouble fitting into the Knicks’ triangle offense and feels he’s a much better fit with the Nets, Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News reports. In Part 5 of a series of Q&As between Knicks president Phil Jackson and author Charley Rosen posted on ESPN’s website, Jackson said in February that Larkin had “failed to show any growth since the start of the season.” Larkin responded in a tweet on Monday. “Couldn’t grow in an offense I wasn’t comfortable in. … Glad I’m across the river now.” The Nets emphasize a faster pace with a pick-and-roll heavy attack, Abramson adds. A free agent after the season, Larkin signed a two-year, $3MM deal with the Nets with a player option on the second season.
In other news around the Atlantic Division:
  • In the same Q&A with Rosen, Jackson spelled out his reasons for trading J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers. “J.R. was more interested in hunting for his own shots than in buying into the triangle. Plus, he has a player’s option for next season that would limit our flexibility. As for Shumpert, mainly because of injuries, he’d take one step forward and two steps backward. And because of a salary ‘hold’ on his rookie contract, a CBA format that limits available money in free agency.” Jackson was presumably referring to Shumpert’s cap hold, which would have taken up more than $6.542MM on New York’s cap this summer.
  • David Lee nearly signed with the Celtics the last time he was a free agent, Ben Rohrbach of tweets. Lee signed a six-year contract with the Knicks and then was shipped to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade in 2010. The Celtics completed a long-rumored trade for Lee on Monday.  Lee was immediately interested in joining the Celtics when they showed interest in acquiring him, according to Jay King of (Twitter link).
  • The Nets used their $2,339,131 Kevin Garnett trade exception to acquire Steve Blake from the Trail Blazers last month, as NetsDaily indicates. It was one of three exceptions Brooklyn could have used to accommodate the deal. Blake’s salary, since moved to the Pistons in the Quincy Miller trade, left a virtually unusable $262,131 remaining on the Garnett exception.
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