The off-court incidents the Sixers suffered through with Jahlil Okafor last season may make them less likely to pursue Dion Waiters, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Waiters became an unrestricted free agent Monday when the Thunder rescinded their qualifying offer. While it make might make sense for the South Philadelphia native to join a team like the Sixers that needs backcourt help, some in the organization reportedly see Waiters as a potential behavioral problem and don’t want his outspoken personality to affect the team’s younger players. However, a league source tells Pompey that the Sixers have talked to Waiters and negotiations could resume. The Nets and Lakers are also seen as options because of the amount of cap space they have remaining.
There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:
- The Celtics are leaving themselves the maximum amount of flexibility as they work to pull off a major deal, writes Kevin O’Connor of CSNNE. None of the draft picks has been signed, O’Connor notes, and nothing has been done with Tyler Zeller, who is a restricted free agent after receiving a qualifying offer last month. The Celtics can withdraw that $3.7MM offer any time before Saturday if they need more cap space. If a team submits an offer sheet to Zeller before then, Boston can match, but O’Connor writes that there are only seven teams left with enough cap room to make an enticing offer, and most of them are already set at center. A sign-and-trade deal involving Zeller is possible if the Celtics find the right trade.
- Jeremy Lin compares joining the Nets with investing in a “startup company,” tweets Andy Vasquez of The Record. “I’m betting on certain people,” Lin said. “I’m betting on [coach] Kenny [Atkinson]. I’m betting on [GM] Sean [Marks]. I’m betting on myself. I’m betting on Brook [Lopez]. I’m betting on the way I feel. If I didn’t feel like this has the chance to go where I want it to go, then I wouldn’t have signed up for it.”
- The Nets have a little more than $20MM in remaining cap room, but Marks calls reaching the spending floor “the least of my concerns,” Vasquez relays (Twitter link). The new GM prefers to enter the season with cap flexibility.