Atlantic Notes: Hernangomez, Powell, Canaan

There are a number of obstacles to navigate if the Knicks wish to sign 2015 draft-and-stash pick Guillermo Hernangomez for next season, Marc Berman of The New York Post notes. The big man intends to play for the Spanish national team and Olympic training camp occurs in July, which would prevent Hernangomez from participating in NBA summer league play, Berman writes. The Spanish league season runs until late June, which means the New York coaching staff won’t have much time to evaluate Hernangomez before needing to make a decision regarding his future, the Post scribe adds. “There’s a lot of variables that have to evolve,’’ Hernangomez’s agent, Andy Miller, said. “They [the Knicks] have to get through free agency and the draft and he has a long season. My perspective is I’d like to get him being here to train and develop sooner than later. It’s my job to balance it as an intermediary between the parties. Will the Knicks want him only if he plays summer league? There’s a lot of factors that can’t be answered now. It will get hectic.’

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • A rash of injuries have Raptors rookie Norman Powell seeing meaningful minutes for the team and the swingman is beginning to show promise now that he is getting settled in his new role, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star relays. “He’s getting more comfortable,” teammate DeMar DeRozan said of Powell. “Mainly [it’s] just trying to make everything easier on him so he doesn’t have to think so much. He’s got a good feel on the defensive and on the offensive end we just have to keep it simple for him.
  • Isaiah Canaan is finding his niche as shooting guard for the Sixers after breaking into the league as a point guard, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “People may say I’m an undersized shooting guard,” Canaan said. “I just say I’m blessed with the ability to shoot the basket, and I can just run the point when they need me to.” Canaan, who can become a restricted free agent at season’s end if Philadelphia extends a qualifying offer, noted that he would love to re-sign with the team, Pompey adds.
  • Elton Brand has yet to see any game action for the Sixers since being signed on January 4th, but he understands his role is to be a mentor to the team’s younger players and embraces it, Pompey writes in a separate piece. “With me, I’m not trying to take anything away from the development of these young guys, getting these young guys looks,” said Brand. “I don’t mind. Whenever you need me, I’m ready.”
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