Atlantic Notes: Diallo, Rooks, Cobb

Knicks team president Phil Jackson believes the team can compete for a playoff spot next season in the Eastern Conference, Ian Begley of relays. When asked if it was realistic to expect New York to make the postseason in 2016/17, Jackson responded, “I think so. I think we’re getting experience. Kristaps Porzingis is still a young player; he may need another year of experience. But we have some experienced guys who can play.” The executive was also asked if the team could potentially make some noise in the postseason rather than merely settling on making it there, Jackson told the media, “Why not? I don’t know what’s so great about what’s out here in the East. We can fill that role.

The executive also admitted that the triangle offense would need to be tweaked to account for the emphasis the league now places on three-point shooting, Begley adds. “The 3-point line has become our affection, because it means more when we make a 3-point shot. So the spacing has changed dramatically,” Jackson said. “So the triangle can still be a part of that, but it has to adapt.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Ex-NBA center and former Sixers assistant Sean Rooks passed away today at the age of 46, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reports (on Twitter). The cause of death was not relayed by the scribe. Our condolences go out to Rooks’ family and friends.
  • The Nets are aggressively trying to acquire a pick in this year’s NBA Draft, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. The scribe also confirms earlier reports that indicated the Knicks are pushing hard to land a pick via trade. Brooklyn has $3.4MM it can spend to purchase a pick from another team, while New York has $3.3MM remaining to use for the same purpose.
  • The Celtics have a workout scheduled on Wednesday with former Kansas big man Cheick Diallo, Adam Zagoria of reports (via Twitter). Diallo could be in play for Boston at pick No. 16, or if the team trades down in the first-round, though that is merely my speculation.
  • Also slated to work out for the Celtics in the near future is former Cincinnati guard Farad Cobb, Kennedy tweets. Cobb, who isn’t currently among those predicted to be selected this June by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, had an impressive showing at the Elite Skills Training pro day, Kennedy notes.
  • Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek once again noted his preference that the team upgrade at the point guard position this summer, Begley relays (ESPN Now link). “The point guards we have, Jerian Grant is just a young player who is learning his way. He’s going to get better and better as the years go on with the experience. And Jose Calderon is on the later side of it” Hornacek said on “The Hahn and Humpty Show” on ESPN 98.7 FM. “So if we can find a point guard who, that’s the 27, 28-year-old guy who has the experience and still has a lot of juice left, sure that would make us better. And the more shooters you can get, the better also.

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