Atlantic Notes: Biyombo, Nets, Jones, Ledo

A relationship that goes back a while and a shared cultural heritage with GM Masai Ujiri paved the way for Bismack Biyombo to accept an offer from the Raptors after Ujiri called him three minutes into the free agent negotiating period, as Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun details. Both Biyombo and Ujiri are natives of Africa. Ujiri is excited about the center he signed using the room exception, citing Biyombo’s passion for the game, offensive rebounding, shot blocking, defense, physicality and more, Wolstat relays. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets insiders tell NetsDaily that the team would be OK with paying a small amount of luxury tax, but one source says it’ll be a long time before Brooklyn becomes a taxpayer again, if it ever does. The guaranteed salaries for the Nets this season total less than the $84.74MM tax threshold, though taxes are based on the roster as of the final day of the regular season.
  • The Nets had long preferred to rid themselves of Deron Williams instead of Joe Johnson, in part because of Johnson’s veteran presence and knack for scoring, as NetsDaily examines in a separate piece, hearing from sources who suggest Williams’ departure will ease Johnson’s mind, since they didn’t get along.
  • It’s not certain that Perry Jones III will be on the Celtics roster come opening night, as the team has 17 fully guaranteed contracts, but Boston intends to give the former 28th overall pick every opportunity to stick, writes Chris Forsberg of“With OKC, there hasn’t been as much of an opportunity for him to play as much as he would like as a youngster on a team trying to compete for a championship,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said earlier this week. “But [he is] very athletic, a different type of player than we have in the frontcourt right now with his athleticism and length.”
  • The Knicks front office was higher on Ricky Ledo than the coaching staff was, sources indicated to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The team waived Ledo on Thursday rather than guarantee a portion of his salary.
  • It’s been nearly three weeks since the Sixers said Joel Embiid would have surgery on his foot within seven to 10 days, and the team’s silence in that time raises no shortage of questions, as Tom Moore of Calkins Media examines.
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