Atlantic Rumors: Sixers, Westbrook, C’s, Nets

Speaking to SiriusXM NBA Radio (SoundCloud link) in Las Vegas, Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo acknowledged that his team’s roster is “top-heavy,” with a logjam of young talent at the center position. Although Colangelo said the Sixers like Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Jahlil Okafor, he suggested, half-jokingly, that he’s “absolutely not” comfortable heading into the season with all three still on the roster.

“What we are comfortable doing is saying we’re not going to make a bad deal just to make a deal,” the Sixers GM said. “I think we could be a better basketball team if we could distribute that talent better, and maybe take one of those assets and address other needs on the roster. But I think right now, it’s best to say we like all of them [and] we want to see if we can make the most out of each of them in terms of their contributions to this team. At the end of the day, the reality says one probably has to go at some point — but only when the deal is right.”

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic division:

  • Although there’s no indication yet that the Thunder are exploring a Russell Westbrook trade, rival general managers think GM Sam Presti will do so sooner rather than later if he suspects that Westbrook is leaning toward leaving as a free agent next summer, says Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (video link). According to Beck, many of those rival GMs believe that the Celtics are the most likely landing spot for Westbrook if Oklahoma City does pursue a trade.
  • Having missed out on a pair of RFA targets, the Nets are currently mulling making an offer to another RFA, Dion Waiters, as we heard over the weekend. According to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, Brooklyn has also displayed interest in Terrence Jones, Jordan Hill, and Maurice Harkless.
  • Nets general manager Sean Marks, who acknowledged that his team is in the market for wing players, also said that he’s in no rush to meet the salary floor, as Lewis details. “At some point we have to get there,” Marks said. “But it’s not immediate right now. We’re not just going to go out and spend for the sake of spending. It’s about us doing the right things at the right times.”
  • Celtics first-rounder Ante Zizic is headed back to Cibona Zagreb, his team in Croatia, tweets international basketball journalist David Pick. Boston GM Danny Ainge had previously confirmed that Zizic, who reportedly received some interest from other European clubs, would remain overseas for the 2016/17 season.
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