As Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported last week, the Sixers aggressively pursued Manu Ginobili in free agency earlier this month, making him a contract offer that would have guaranteed him $16MM+ in year one, forcing the Spurs to significantly increase their own offer. As Ginobili tells Michael Lee of The Vertical, he didn’t simply talk to the 76ers as a negotiating ploy, since the presence of head coach Brett Brown intrigued him.
“It was not my main option. I never wanted to leave San Antonio,” Ginobili said. “But I had to listen to all the options that are there. … The fact that (the Sixers) had a great coach and a person I appreciate so much as Brett Brown, made it more appealing in the case the Spurs didn’t happen. But the Spurs happened and they always had the priority.”
As we ponder the possibility of what it looked like to see Ginobili wearing a 76ers uniform next season, here are a few more notes out of the Atlantic:
- Expectations for the new-look Knicks are high, Derrick Rose admits in a conversation with Lang Whitaker of NBA.com. Curiously, the veteran point guard believes his team is viewed in NBA circles as a top-tier contender alongside the Warriors, telling Whitaker, “They’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams.”
- Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer explains why it wouldn’t make a ton of sense for the Sixers to trade Jahlil Okafor to the Celtics, writing that Boston has concerns about possible character issues. As Pompey outlines, the C’s typically minimize risk by avoiding investing heavily in players with off-court question marks — as such, the 76ers would have a hard time extracting fair value in a trade.
- On Thursday, we passed along some comments Jae Crowder made about the Celtics‘ failed pursuit of Kevin Durant. That wasn’t the only subject Crowder weighed in on during his conversation with Tom Westerholm of MassLive.com, however. The Boston forward also talked about the Eastern Conference outlook – the Cavaliers are the only team he’s worried about – and the team’s recruitment of Al Horford. As Crowder noted, Horford was also drawing interest from the Wizards as the C’s pursued him. “We beat them four times this year,” Crowder said of Washington. “You don’t want to go there.”