Eastern Notes: Stevens, Anthony, Splitter

Celtics coach Brad Stevens declined to comment about whether the team had any interest in pursuing Joe Johnson, who was waived by the Nets earlier today as part of a buyout arrangement, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com notes (ESPN Now link). The coach did specify what type of player Boston would be looking for to fill its open roster spot, saying, “I think versatility is huge. Certainly shooting’s a big deal. All those things come into play. Obviously, with Kelly [Olynyk] out, interior help is something that you’d have to consider, but hopefully he’s not out too long and I think the versatility stands out more than anything else.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t want to lose Carmelo Anthony as a teammate and looks at the veteran scorer as a role model, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv relays. Several teams apparently think that if the Knicks don’t make significant progress in their rebuilding project by mid-July, Anthony would be willing to approve a trade. “Oh well, obviously I wouldn’t want to lose him,” Porzingis said regarding ‘Melo. “He is who he is on our team. He’s special and we need him to do big things in the future, especially for me. I love playing alongside him so that would obviously not be something that I want.
  • Hawks center Tiago Splitter underwent successful surgery today to repair damage to his right hip, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution relays. Splitter will miss the remainder of the season as a result of the injury and subsequent surgery.
  • Bucks big man Greg Monroe has been coming off the bench lately for the team, which isn’t necessarily what he had in mind when he inked a maximum salary deal with the team this past summer, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times writes. When asked if he regretted signing with Milwaukee, Monroe said, “It’s not something they had planned when I was coming here. So, no, I can’t answer that question because it wasn’t something that was planned all along.’’ The big man also admitted that he heard the trade chatter involving him but wasn’t fazed, Woelfel adds. “I didn’t get bothered by it. I’ve been in the league awhile; I’ve been in free agency and reports came out then and I know they were totally false. And these situations are basically the same, so I was sure it was all speculation.’’
  • The Celtics have assigned swingman James Young to the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Young’s eighth jaunt of the season to Maine.
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