Atlantic Notes: Colangelo, Jackson, DeRozan

The Sixers are still awaiting one of their recent lottery picks to step forward and emerge as a star, but the team does believe the potential still exists for that to occur, Brian Seltzer of relays. “There’s some good, young, developing talent,” GM Bryan Colangelo said. “It’s just right now, we’re still looking for someone to step forward and become a star. That’s not to say that they’re not there, there’s not the potential for one of those pieces to do so. What we’re looking to do is build. There’s a lot of good pieces in place. What we have more than anything, we have resources and picks to move forward and try to add some of those pieces.

Philadelphia has a 26.9% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft lottery, but the franchise also believes it can find value late in the first round, Seltzer notes. “You can look at this draft and say back at 24 [via Miami] or 26 [via Oklahoma City], where our later first-round picks reside, there’s going to be an opportunity there to pull a player,” Colangelo said. “Or, to take that pick and do something else with it, maybe defer to the future, because we may not want to add too many young players to an already young core of talent.  I think it all depends on what [is] there, and what happens ahead of us.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks president Phil Jackson‘s lack of urgency to settle on a new head coach is hurting the franchise as a number of solid candidates are already off the board, having filled other vacant posts around the league, opines Chris Mannix of The Vertical. The question also exists regarding just how committed Jackson is to his job, with the executive not a sure bet to finish out his five-year contract, Mannix adds. Jackson has the ability to opt out of his deal next summer.
  • Despite his pronounced struggles in this year’s postseason, Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan should have little difficulty landing a maximum-salary deal in free agency this summer, Michael Lee of The Vertical opines. With a pronounced drop off in the free agent class after Kevin Durant and the jump in the salary cap providing multiple teams with ample camp space, the 26-year-old should have no problem securing a lucrative pact, Lee adds. DeRozan has a player option for 2016/17 that is worth $10.15MM, which he is likely to decline in order to land a larger payout this offseason.
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