Atlantic Rumors: Fizdale, Leonard, Dukan, Kurucs

New Knicks coach David Fizdale has told Kristaps Porzingis to set lofty goals for himself and the franchise player appreciates getting pushed. In a WNBC TV interview that was relayed by Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, Fizdale said that he wants Porzingis, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, to embrace the status that comes with being the team’s star. “He likes the challenge of me saying ‘I want him to be the MVP’ and ‘I want him to be the Defensive Player of the Year.’ That’s real competitors they want that and I’m going right at it with him. I want him to look at himself that way,” Fizdale said.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics made the right decision by holding onto Jayson Tatum rather than dealing him to the Spurs to Kawhi Leonard, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston opines. Boston would likely have needed to give up Tatum to land Leonard with no assurances that Leonard would stay beyond the upcoming season, Blakely continues. With Leonard’s questionable health and the Celtics already considered the Eastern Conference favorite, it didn’t make sense for Boston to roll the dice, Blakely adds.
  • New York’s G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, has acquired former Kings forward Duje Dukan, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets. Dukan was chosen by the Wizards’ new G League team, the Capital City Go-Go, in the expansion draft on Wednesday. Dukan has also played for the G League affiliates of the Kings, Bulls and Pacers.
  • Buyout issues caused Nets forward Rodions Kurucs to slide in the draft, according to a NetsDaily.com post. Kurucs’ Euro team, FC Barcelona, reportedly priced his buyout at $5MM until late last season and NBA teams can’t pay more than $700K toward an international player’s buyout. Buyout talks also prevented Kurucs from playing in the summer league. Kurucs, the 40th overall pick, signed a four-year, $7MM contract with Brooklyn.
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10 thoughts on “Atlantic Rumors: Fizdale, Leonard, Dukan, Kurucs

  1. Nebrasketball

    I mean, Boston writers sure think that Boston is the favorite.

    But analytics tell a very different story. It’s going to be hard for them to keep up with a vastly superior Raptors team that – if Kawhi’s healthy – will easily outpace them in both offense and defense.

    • MYAMI

      Boston fans and writers are the most biased in sports. They all talk like you can book them in the finals but they will be challenged by 6ers, raptors and bucks.

      • Guest617

        notice how well boston teams travel? it’s embarrassing at times when you have more fans vs home team. finals should be electric

        • D$!LLKU$H-og

          Nationally they are definitely viewed as the eastern champ. Vegas gave them the highest over/under so it’s not localized to just Boston. Especially if they trade Smart,Yabusele, either SAC pick or 2 of the other 3 for Butler.

          Irving
          Butler
          Hayward
          Tatum
          Horford

          Rozier
          Brown
          Ojeleye
          Morris
          Baynes

  2. Z-A

    Let me know next summer if it was a good decision. Literally cant say it was a good decision until they win a championship. If they lose to Toronto in the playoffs.. good decision?

    • z3rogs

      Still yes. Kawhi leaves Toronto like he would have left Boston, but Boston still has an improving Tatum.

      • slapnuts

        Exactly! Even if the Cs don’t win it all next year but do win it all the two years after that, it’s a win

  3. Even if Boston doesn’t win the title at all, still is a good decision. Come on Kawhi is at the top or on his way down with his health issues. JT is up & up his potential is way more than Kawhi, so he is the present & future of Boston. I mean kawhi wasn’t at the level that JT is even after 3 years in the league, so that is why a trade would had always been bad for Boston, regardless of winning the title or not.

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