While the Celtics didn’t land the premier free agents in this year’s class, they did agree with Amir Johnson 0n a deal that brings him in from the Raptors. Coach Brad Stevens believes that, in general, the team’s positive environment will help attract players to Boston, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald writes.
“I think the biggest thing is that I feel really good about our environment. I think people will really enjoy playing with this group of people. I don’t think there’s any question about it. We’ve got guys that like the game, they work at the game, they want to be good. And we have to focus our attention on those guys and helping them become the best they can be,” Stevens said.
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division..
- Knicks president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills are still talking with Jason Smith‘s representatives about bringing him back for the 2015/16 season, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter).
- The Knicks have also been in constant contact with Louis Amundson‘s representatives about bringing him back for next season, sources tell Begley (on Twitter). Amundson appeared in 41 games for New York last season, averaging 6.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 20.9 minutes per contest.
- When asked about reports that he has been approached by reps from Olimpia Milano about signing with them, Celtics free agent big man Gigi Datome dismissed the talk as premature. “It’s very early because [NBA] free agency is so [early],” Datome told Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald via phone. “My agent told me that first the big players will sign, and then you have to wait. I’ve waited more than two months to get here, so I can wait two more. My agent is listening to proposals from European teams, and right now we’re not saying no to anyone. But I still want to see if anyone in the NBA wants to sign me.”
- The development of newly-signed forward Derrick Williams will be a good litmus test for Knicks coach Derek Fisher, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. Williams’ talent led to him being selected No. 2 overall in the 2011 draft, but he has yet to put it all together at the NBA level.