Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Atkinson, Sixers, Celtics, Sullivan

After a record-breaking regular season, the Raptors once again laid an egg in the postseason, leading to the firing of Coach of the Year candidate Dwane Casey. Now, barring any trades, the team is faced with a potential luxury tax issue with a roster that cannot seem to compete in the weaker Eastern Conference come playoff time.

Eric Koreen of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the luxury tax concerns for Toronto, focusing on who the Raptors could afford to surrender in order to get under the tax threshold while also remaining competitive.

Koreen opines that in a perfect world, the Raptors would probably love to unload one or both of the contracts of Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell, who are scheduled to make over $21.6MM and $9.3MM next season, respectively.

More realistically, the club may decide to let young guard Fred VanVleet sign somewhere else instead of matching what is expected to be an offer in the $7.5MM per season range. Koreen also explores the possibility of moving on from big man Jonas Valanciunas or the player the Raptors used their MLE on last summer – C.J. Miles.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have been relatively uncompetitive for the last three seasons, but head coach Kenny Atkinson expects significant growth next season, reports Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets have limited cap space and traded away their own first-round pick in this month’s NBA Draft, so Atkinson will need to rely on his reputed prowess as a player developer if the Nets hope to show meaningful improvement.
  • Regardless of whether or not the Sixers succeed in signing a superstar free agent this offseason, the team will need to make sure to also sign both a guard with long-range shooting ability who is capable of guarding opposing point guards (e.g. Patrick Beverley) and a backup center capable of protecting the rim when Joel Embiid isn’t on the court, per David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • The Celtics‘ first selection in the upcoming draft, barring a trade, isn’t until pick No. 27, but according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, the team can still add some quality wing depth with versatile players such as Gary Trent Jr. or Josh Okogie, both of whom are likely to be available towards the end of the first round.
  • Per Ian Begley of ESPN, former Clippers’ assistant coach Pat Sullivan will join the Knicks staff as an assistant for new head coach David Fizdale. Sullivan, a New Jersey native, worked as an assistant coach for the Pistons when Knicks’ GM Scott Perry was an executive with the team.
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8 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Atkinson, Sixers, Celtics, Sullivan

  1. tatumszn2018

    I think Nets have 29th pick via Raps in this years draft if I’m not mistaken unless that pick is for the 2019 draft.

    • Clark Crum

      You’re correct. My point was that they don’t have their own (which would be a lottery selection). Update made.

      • tatumszn2018

        No worries had thought they owed the Celts another pick but remember it was traded in the Irving deal lol.

  2. Z-A

    The Sixers have 6 draft picks. They will round out their bench via the draft and bringing back the white guys.

  3. If they don’t come to expensive I would like to have back JJ Redick, Belinelli & Ilyasova, TJ & Holmes. I think with the hoped for progression of Fultz plus any reinforcements from the draft specially the #10 were they can get a player like Bridges maybe & the #26 with another shooter like DiVincenzo or Allen, I can see them been better next year, hopefully aiming at the top of the East in RS & conference finals, keep progressing with the process.

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