Bismack Biyombo‘s free agency stock is rising after a 26-rebound, four-block performance Saturday night, relates Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Biyombo, who added seven points as Toronto topped Cleveland in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, is taking advantage of increased playing time since starting center Jonas Valanciunas was sidelined with a badly sprained ankle. After Saturday’s game, Raptors coach Dwane Casey compared Biyombo to a rebounding legend. “He reminds me of a guy like [Dennis] Rodman going for the rebounds,” Casey said. “He knows where the ball is coming off, he has a sense of where it’s coming off, and he does a good job doing that.” Biyombo has a $3MM player option for next season, but much larger offers will almost certainly be waiting if he decides to opt out.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Another key to Saturday’s win was backup point guard Cory Joseph, writes Chris O’Leary of The Toronto Star. Joseph contributed 14 points, five rebounds and three assists as starter Kyle Lowry got into early foul trouble. It’s what the Raptors were hoping for when they signed the former Spur to a four-year, $30MM deal last summer in an effort to improve their bench.
- All the focus is on the Celtics’ third overall pick, but the team has two more selections in the first round, notes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. Boston owns the rights to Dallas’ pick at No. 16, along with its own choice at No. 23, giving team officials a wide range of players to scout for draft night. “The higher the draft pick, you just have a better chance,” said Austin Ainge, Boston’s director of player personnel. “There’s going to be really good players available at 16. There’s going to be really good players available at 23. It’s just harder to identify in that range.”
- Getting the top pick in the draft validated former GM Sam Hinkie’s approach, but the Sixers will benefit from replacing him, contends Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Berger admits that Hinkie, who resigned last month, left behind a bright future in Philadelphia. But he also points out that Hinkie damaged the team’s reputation with free agents through three years of losing, the second-round picks he accumulated have produced very little talent and the roughly $50MM in cap room the Sixers possess is undervalued because the escalating salary cap means virtually every team will have money to spend this summer.