Despite the seemingly long odds for either the Knicks or the Nets landing Mike Conley in free agency this summer, sources close to the point guard say he will be more receptive to playing in New York than most people think, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com relays. “It’s tough,” Conley, who was reportedly disappointed that the Nets fired coach Lionel Hollins, said. “But at the same time, like I said, I’ll give everybody their fair shot. With Lionel being here, obviously, it was a big reason to look [at the Nets]. But still, at the same time, with him gone, I’ll give everybody the same look.”
When asked what he was looking for in a prospective free agent suitor, Conley said, “I want to win. That’s what I want to do at the end of the day, wherever that may be. So hopefully, when that time comes, I’ll have a better vision on what I want and what I want going forward in the summer, but right now, I’m all about winning, and I want to be somewhere that’s committed to doing that.” Here are more news and notes regarding the teams of the Atlantic Division:
- Paul Pierce at least briefly considered signing with the Celtics before deciding that the draw of family and friends in Los Angeles and the chance to play for Doc Rivers again on a title contender was too alluring to turn down, as Pierce acknowledged Wednesday, observes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The 38-year-old once more said that he’s not sure he’ll play beyond this season, and he also said he’d “love” to work for the Celtics organization after he retires, as Himmelsbach also relays.
- Nets team owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants whomever is hired as the team’s next GM to establish a firmer identity for the team and its roster, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays. “I think I want us to have a much firmer blueprint,” Prokhorov said. “What kind of players we’re looking for and why, in line with the strategic guidelines developed with the new coach and GM. I think we need to have a sense of identity and a style of play. Are we building a team around a franchise player, or are we balancing with younger athletes without a superstar system or about 3-point shooting, defense or speed?”
- Multiple NBA teams are keeping their eyes on Raptors D-League power forward Ronald Roberts, who is expected to receive a 10-day deal at some point in the near future, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders relays.
- It is highly unlikely that Knicks owner James Dolan would grant team president Phil Jackson permission to join the Lakers this summer if Jackson desired to leave New York, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. A “strong belief” persists that Jackson will wind up back with the Lakers organization and fiancee Jeanie Buss in the future, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.