Atlantic Notes: Blatt, Allen, Nets Backcourt, Powell

The Knicks continue their search for a new head coach and a pool of nine candidates is slowly starting to shrink. With one interview left this weekend – for Spurs’ assistant coach James Borrego – there is a sense that David Blatt is the best fit in New York, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Blatt has not coached in the NBA since January 2016 when he was fired by the Cavaliers despite a 30-11 record. He has since returned to Europe and continued to coach successfully, and his ability to relate to international talent could benefit the Knicks.

“KP [Kristaps Porzingis] and Frank Nitti [Ntilikina] need him as he is the most qualified to finally make international players that arrive in New York comfortable and productive,” former Knicks European scout Tim Shea said to Berman. “He’d be a godsend.”

As we relayed yesterday, there is a belief that the Knicks are focused on Blatt and Mike Budenholzer, who recently parted ways with the Hawks. Both men bring impressive résumés, but one NBA source close to Blatt tells Berman that his ability to win would be invaluable to a Knicks team coming off another 50-loss season.

“He’s won everywhere he is, won everywhere in Europe,’’ the NBA source said. “This year was supposed to be rebuilding year in Istanbul and he wins the EuroCup. His résumé is impeccable.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • Most teenagers are not core pieces for an NBA team’s future, but Jarrett Allen, who spent most of the regular season as a 19-year-old standout for the Nets, is exactly that, Michael Scotto of The Athletic writes (subscription required). “He came along nicely,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “He impacts the game defensively right now with his length. He dunks everything around the rim and has shown a developing jumper. He could be a starter.”
  • With Jeremy Lin expected back to go along with incumbents  D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Isaiah Whiteheadthe Nets‘ crowded backcourt will be worth watching, Net Income of NetsDaily writes. All of the aforementioned players bring their own skills and value and head coach Kenny Atkinson enjoys versatility on his roster.
  • While Norman Powell was a key player for the Raptors in the postseason last year, he has gone from X-factor to ex-factor, Dave Feschuck of the Toronto Star writes.
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2 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Blatt, Allen, Nets Backcourt, Powell

  1. Dionis

    Russell is a 2-guard and the sooner the Nets realize that the better. Lin could run the 1 and Russell can play the 2 since he can move off the ball and come off screens and shoot the 3, plus he’s a big enough guard to catch the ball in the post and score with his turn-around jumpshot. Allen should be locked in as the 5 for next season but they severely need help at the 3-4. Not sold on Carroll anymore as a starter and if Hollis-Jefferson does not have a breakout campaign next season might be time to move on.

  2. Nets should trade anyone besides Allen and Russel to get Kawhi. Dinwiddie, Hollis-Jefferson, Levert, and a pick or two. If you have to throw Allen in there as well, I would do it. Maybe Kawhi would push for a trade to Brooklyn due to his familiarity with Sean Marks….

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