Atlantic Notes: Bennett, Fisher, Celtics, Knicks

Anthony Bennett doesn’t regret having become the No. 1 overall pick in 2013, but in encouraging him to move past that, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri hinted in comments to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that he can envision keeping Bennett beyond this season even if he doesn’t make a leap this year. Toronto signed Bennett to just a one-year deal for the minimum salary when the team brought him aboard last month.

“We look at giving Anthony an opportunity to actually grow and be a player,” Ujiri said. “It’s not a one-year thing here. It’s going to take time. All that No. 1 pick and all that stuff, we had a conversation with him. Let’s move on from that. Now it’s about how you become a very good NBA player, which we all know he can be.”

See more from the Atlantic Division:

  • It was Derek Fisher who was the victim when Matt Barnes reportedly attacked him, but the Knicks coach invited scrutiny when he skipped practice to travel 3,000 miles away, ostensibly to see his children, and wound up at the home of Barnes’ ex-wife, opines Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. The missed practice and the distraction brought upon his team will make Fisher’s job performance a more common subject for criticism this season, Isola believes.
  • The first-round picks that the Nets, Timberwolves and Mavericks owe them and the playoff appearance from last season signal that the Celtics would be well-served to put more of an emphasis on winning this year, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald argues. Bulpett points to this summer’s moves as evidence that the C’s feel the same way.
  • The Knicks formally hired Mike Miller as the coach of their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Miller, who’s not the player by the same name, is a former associate head coach at Kansas State. Isola first reported in August that the move was close.
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