Atlantic Notes: Booker, Okafor, Hornacek

The Nets signed unrestricted free agent Trevor Booker to a two-year, $18MM deal this offseason. In an interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, the forward noted it was his faith in GM Sean Marks that led him to take a chance on joining the rebuilding franchise. “Brooklyn was one of the teams pursuing me from the beginning and I knew Sean Marks because we had a short stint together in Washington when he was still playing,” Booker told the scribe. “I know what kind of a guy he is and what kind of an organization he came from with the Spurs, which is an A-1 organization. Coach [Kenny] Atkinson came from a great organization in Atlanta too. After doing a little research on him, I was comfortable with him and I was comfortable with the whole situation. I bought into what they are doing.

When asked if he had any reservations about leaving the Jazz, Booker said, “It was definitely tough. I miss those guys already because I was very close with my teammates, the coaching staff and the front office. Everyone there was great. The fans were tremendous. I loved the city too. It was definitely tough. But at the same time, I saw an opportunity in Brooklyn for myself so I rolled with that opportunity.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers center Jahlil Okafor, who is dealing with knee issues related to his surgery back in March, is getting closer to making his return to the court, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays. One issue that will likely keep the big man from seeing any game action in the near future is his lack of practice time during the preseason, Pompey adds. “What you saw on the floor [during pregame] is more than we’ve seen at practice in a while,” coach Brett Brown said. “People shouldn’t get nervous about that. It’s part of bringing him back into the mix. Our anticipation is he is not that far away.
  • New Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek hasn’t been forced to run the triangle offense by team president Phil Jackson and is a bit surprised that it hasn’t been pushed by the front office, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. Hornacek acknowledged that it’s not a popular offense in today’s NBA, and says that he plans to blend “triangle aspects” with his faster-paced scheme, the scribe notes. “If it slows you down, I think that’s where most guys are probably coming from,” Hornacek said. “You end up being a slow-down team and never get easy buckets, and you’re running that half-court set all the time. First of all, guys don’t like to run it. Secondly, it makes it very difficult to get easy buckets early in the offense. And I think in today’s game, those early buckets are nice to get. So we’re not running it every time. We’re mixing it in here and there.
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