Atlantic Notes: Williams, Silver, Lopez, Caboclo

Deron Williams thought about quitting the game during his struggles with the Nets, as he tells Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports. The 31-year-old isn’t concerned about the idea that he couldn’t hack it in New York and wishes his time with the team had gone better so that people didn’t feel as though he was “just stealing money,” as Lee details, with Williams once again saying that he’s pleased to be with the Mavericks now.

“It took a lot out of me, man, those three years [after re-signing with the Nets for the max in 2012]. Some of the hardest in my life,” Williams said. “Made me question if I even wanted to play basketball when I was done with that contract.”

See more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Commissioner Adam Silver admits that he’s not a fan of the Sixers‘ rebuilding strategy of the past two and a half seasons but said that it doesn’t mean it’s not acceptable under league rules, and he once more denied that Philly’s hiring of Jerry Colangelo happened because of pressure from owners of other teams. Silver made his comments on FiveThirtyEight’s “Hot Takedown” podcast.
  • The Knicks are thinking about removing Robin Lopez, who signed a four-year deal worth more than $54MM in the offseason, from the starting lineup in favor of Lance Thomas, who inked for less than $1.637MM on a one-year deal, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Thomas has a reputation as coach Derek Fisher‘s “favorite Knick,” Berman writes, and he showed up this season with an improved outside shot and 15 added pounds of muscle, as the Post scribe details, suggesting it’ll play to his benefit when he hits free agency again this summer.
  • The Raptors have assigned Bruno Caboclo and Norman Powell to the D-League, the team announced. Caboclo has seen extensive D-League action this season, while Powell is making his second trip to Raptors 905, just two days after his first. Toronto recalled Powell, Caboclo and Anthony Bennett from the D-League on Sunday afternoon (Twitter link).
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