Atlantic Notes: Bargnani, Alexander, Raptors

Andrea Bargnani, in an interview with Malcolm Pagani of il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian newspaper (h/t to NetsDaily), noted that he turned down more lucrative NBA offers this Summer in order to sign with the Nets. “I would have done it [signed with Brooklyn] for free because the money at this time does not matter,” said Bargnani. “I just hope I can have a decent playing time, scoring as many points [as he can] and exceed goals. I do not think I was lucky [last year]. Luck is good health that allows you to prove your talent at the right time. The rest is the work. I made risky choices, indeed extremely risky and I intend to continue to take risks. I accept all the criticism, it is living in a beautiful dream, I know myself.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors have officially announced the promotion of Teresa Resch to Vice President, Basketball Operations and Player Development and Dan Tolzman to Director, Player Personnel. Tolzman will also serve as the GM of Toronto’s new D-League affiliate, Raptors 905, who begin play this coming season.
  • Grantland’s Zach Lowe pegs Jonas Valanciunas as a “lock” to demand maximum-level salaries in any extension with the Raptors. The deadline for Toronto and the Leon Rose client to do an extension is October 31st.
  • It seems to be shaping up as a player-friendly extension market, as Lowe, writing in the same piece, speculates that the Celtics might pounce on a deal with Tyler Zeller as long as the annual salaries are worth less than a staggering $12MM.
  • Former lottery pick Joe Alexander turned down a Summer contract offer from the Celtics and instead has signed a deal with Banco di Sardegna Sassari of Sardinia, Alexander’s agents Doug Neustadt and Mike Kneisley confirmed to David Pick of (on Twitter). Alexander’s last NBA action came during the 2009/10 campaign when he made eight appearances for the Bulls.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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