Atlantic Notes: Leonard, Nets, Horford, Barrett, Raptors

The Raptors’ pitch to Kawhi Leonard to remain with the organization is still being discussed but is near completion, GM Bobby Webster told the Toronto Star’s Doug Smith and other media members. “There’s definitely more (things to be done),” Webster said. “As you can imagine, there are a ton of thoughts and ideas.” Aside from the financial implications — the Raptors can offer their superstar a five-year deal worth nearly $190MM while other suitors can give him a four-year, $140.6MM contract — the organization is expected to emphasize its championship pedigree, the medical staff that earned Leonard’s trust, and a chance to keep winning in familiar surroundings, Smith adds.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have continued to clear cap room to sign two high-level free agents and there’s an expectation that this summer will be transformational for the Nets, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Draft-night trades cleared $2MM more in cap room, moving the team within $2MM of landing some combination of Leonard, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. GM Sean Marks indicated that going after big fish in free agency is the next logical leap for the franchise.
  • Al Horford would be a “no-brainer” free agent target for the Sixers if they don’t re-sign both Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Horford would be a natural fit at power forward alongside Joel Embiid and could play center in games that the oft-injured Embiid sits out, Pompey notes. Horford will decline his $30.1MM player option with the Celtics and pursue a multi-year contract in free agency.
  • There were mixed views on R.J. Barrett within the Knicks organization but GM Scott Perry was determined to draft the Duke freshman with the No. 3 pick, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Barrett made a strong impression during a June 10 visit with the Knicks. “When we bring guys in, we allowed them to spend time with the front-office staff, coaching and medical staff. It became apparent he was going to be an excellent fit from a culture standpoint,” Perry said. “He did nice things on the court when he worked with coaches. He reaffirmed what we had seen during the college season. … We were comfortable remaining in the draft position at 3.”
  • The Raptors had some discussions about moving into the late first round or early second round of the draft but weren’t willing to give up future assets, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets.
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23 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Leonard, Nets, Horford, Barrett, Raptors

  1. hoosierhysteria

    Durant went to NYC for surgery. He used a surgeon that works for the nets. Didn’t he telegraph his intention? If not, nets are silly to take KI solo. He is not that much more valuable than Russell. Irving was awful in the playoffs this year. 6-22 doesn’t cut it.

    • padam

      Same surgeon worked for the Knicks prior to the Nets. Doubt he’s telegraphing anything.

    • Strike Four

      If you think where KD had his surgery means anything, you are lying to yourself. NYC has the best surgeons on the planet and he was close by in Toronto. Reading into that…wow, grow up.

  2. Luckylefty2

    Man if the Sixers give Horford 112 million the process is officially over.

      • Depends on which Harris you get. I don’t think it’s worth taking the chance on him but then again how much longer does Horford have in the tank? Can he keep up this great play for the length of another contract?

  3. Strike Four

    “There were mixed views on R.J. Barrett within the Knicks organization”

    I hate every person in the Knicks FO and ownership. Anyone who doubts RJ is an abject idiot and does not deserve a job in the NBA. If they Knicks were run well they’d fire anyone who said not to draft RJ.

    • Jason Lancaster

      He’s an inefficient scorer and doesn’t put effort into defense. I’m not saying he’s bad, but slow your roll.

    • JonnyLucas

      I think he’s going to be the best player from this draft. He has swagger. He’s stone cold and wants to be great. Sounds like another ACC guard who went number 3 sometime ago.

    • I’ve been as critical of the Stooges as anyone, and with good reason. But a franchise should encourage disparate views and vigorous debate when it comes to talent evaluation, where groupthink is enemy #1.

      Knicks scouting might suffer from too many chefs, and a lack of structure, as Moe and Larry have different guys, and Curly his own views/sources. That may lead to stories like this getting out. But amateur scouting appears to be the thing they do best.

      • x%sure

        What would happen to the scouts who were wrong on something of this magnitude vs the scouts who had it right? Does Jason L or strike 4 get fired if he’s a bricklayer or the ROY?

  4. Guest617

    embiid’s knees are trending south – to add horford as insurance w/be a power move, esp from a divisional rival.

  5. goldenmisfit

    Toronto is forgetting one very important thing something I keep hearing is very important to Leonard. Toronto is as far away from California as humanly possible in the NBA. That could be the deciding factor.

  6. x%sure

    It doesn’t feel like it but the stakes in the Kawhi derby got much reduced after they won the title. It’s alteady a good risk they took. All that follows will be letdown, whether stay or go.

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