Atlantic Notes: Portis, Nets, Poirier, Knicks

For Bobby Portis, joining the Knicks in free agency didn’t require a promise from the team to name him a starter. Portis agreed to a two-year, $31MM deal with the team earlier in the month, fully prepared to contribute regardless of his role in the rotation.

“I don’t care about starting or coming off the bench,” Portis told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I envision myself being a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. Last year I was in the running at the beginning of the season, playing well. That’s in the back of my mind for sure. Naysayers will say I’m crazy. I feel it’s going to come for me one day for sure. I play my role really well.”

With Portis eyeing the Sixth Man of the Year award, it’s worth noting he’s coming off a season that saw him average a career-high 14.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 26 minutes in 50 games with the Wizards, starting in 28 contests. He’s mostly played off the bench during his career, displaying an impressive touch around the rim and willingness to play physical.

In addition to Portis, the Knicks also reached free-agent agreements with Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington, giving head coach David Fizdale plenty of new options for the upcoming season.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype spoke with a number of current and former Nets players about the new look of the team, including fourth-year Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “It shows that our program as a whole took a huge step forward – one that I don’t think many people thought was possible,” Dinwiddie said of the Nets landing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. “Even when you and I talked about it previously on the podcast, people were mocking me! I was very upfront and said, ‘Hey, I’d welcome stars with open arms,’ but everybody laughed at it. The reaction was, ‘Alright, that sounds good, but it ain’t going to happen.’ I guess it just makes this experience that much sweeter (laughs).”
  • Las Vegas oddsmakers don’t believe the Knicks will win more than 30 games next season, Marc Berman writes in a separate article for the New York Post. New York is coming off a league-worst 17-65 record from last season.
  • New Celtics center Vincent Poirier impressed the team for a variety of reasons, as detailed by Jacob Carmenker of NBC Sports Boston. The Celtics were intrigued with Poirier’s athleticism, ability to rebound and willingness to sacrifice, reaching a two-year deal with him earlier this month.
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5 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Portis, Nets, Poirier, Knicks

  1. Norm Chouinard

    I don’t think Portis will have trouble finding minutes backing up Mitchell.

    • x%sure

      He will if that’s Gibson’s job! But I’m sure they will be moving people around to see what works.

      Big East teams pile up wins early during interconference play, giving them high rankings, by playing physically. Other teams, primarily looking to install offenses with a new roster, get chewed up– it takes a while to get things organized. The payoff (or disappointment) comes in the tournaments.

      I bet the Knicks getoff to a hot start.

      • Norm Chouinard

        I don’t see the expected minutes crunch among the bigs. None of these guys are 36 minutes types. Randle may be the only 30 minute guy. I have read that Fiz will keep Mitchell and Taj apart as they are the only two rim protectors and their lack of offensive skill sets might not work well together.

        • Curtisrowe

          Well…Robinson, Randle, Morris, Portis, Gibson, are all splitting 96 minutes. If you think Randle gets 30 then the other 4 are splitting 66 minutes.

          That’s not gonna work out for a bunch of guys on short contracts.

      • x%sure

        Meant to say the Knicks will get off to a hot start by playing physically with a load of good-enough physical bigs offering many fouls.

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