Atlantic Notes: Raptors, D-Lo, Kyrie, Barrett

Having already extended Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry this month, the Raptors completed a third important contract extension today, according to a press release from the team. This deal wasn’t for a player, but rather for Alex McKechnie, who had been the team’s director of sports science and assistant coach.

McKechnie was widely credited for developing the load-management program that helped Kawhi Leonard stay healthy for the 2018/19 season, which paid off in a major way when the Raptors won their first championship in June. While it wasn’t enough to convince Leonard to stick around, McKechnie’s work – and reputation – could be an asset for the team in future free agent pitches, notes Eric Koreen of The Athletic.

A former Lakers athletic performance coordinator, McKechnie received a promotion along with his extension, according to the Raptors. His new title is VP of player health and performance.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Speaking to Justin Termine of SiriusXM Radio (video link), D’Angelo Russell admitted that he got the sense early in the free agent process that he wouldn’t be returning to the Nets. “I never knew exactly,” Russell said (hat tip to NetsDaily). “[But] you work with these guys every day. You see the same players, you see the same coaching staff, you see the same trainers every day. So when they start to act a little different, you recognize it.”
  • Responding to an ESPN report that some Nets officials are concerned about Kyrie Irving‘s “mood swings,” head coach Kenny Atkinson said that – from his perspective – that notion is totally false (Twitter link via Ian Begley of
  • It looks like it might be another long season for the Knicks, but rookie RJ Barrett at least provides some hope for the future, writes Frank Isola of The Athletic.
  • Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders explores whether the Celtics‘ four-year, $103MM+ investment in Jaylen Brown was worth the gamble.
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20 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Raptors, D-Lo, Kyrie, Barrett

  1. phils phanatic

    Barrett has looked solid so far, albeit only a couple games. obviously he needs to cut down on the TO’s but i think he’s been what the lakers expected out of lonzo when he was drafted

  2. It’s early, but Barrett’s performance to date justifies that my two best days as a Knick fan in the Stooge era were (1) the day of the 2019 draft lottery (when, despite claims to the contrary, they “won” by getting a top 3 pick in a draft with a clear top 3), and (2) the day of the 2019 draft (when they didn’t over think it, and picked the top 3 player than fell to them).

  3. metsie1

    Barrett has played pretty well for a rookie. I also think Kevin Knox has shown some improvement. Long way to go for the Knicks but these two specifically give me some hope.

  4. dynasty in boston

    What did you expect Atkinson to say about Kaylee Irving? That Kaylee is toxic and a pathological liar? Sure, it’s the truth, but since when did the NBA become a beacon of truth?

        • phenomenalajs

          No, he’s shocked that you can’t pass up a chance to call Kyrie “toxic” and a “pathological liar.” This could be an up and down season for the Nets, but once KD takes the floor, even at 85%, they should rock the East.

    • Black Ace57

      Boston fans have had a dozen titles in the past 20 years and they still whine.

      • dynasty in boston

        Nah. We just like rubbing your nose in it. Sox. Pats. Bruins. Celtics. Compared to your what?

        • Black Ace57

          I’m a Philly fan I am used to disappointment. The Iggles winning a Super Bowl in my lifetime was enough.

  5. KC2112

    if we’re talking about Celtics fans, they only have 4 in the last 40 years

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Which is still 4 more than the Nets have won in the last 43 years.

  6. @nbabrothers

    My starting lineup for the next should be Elfrid Payton, Marcus Morris, Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, and frank Nakina for Defense. Space also I would have Kevin Knox come off the Bench in baguette about 25 to 30 minutes. He’s a great three-point shooter now and also have Ellington receive about 25 to 30 minutes as well for his three point shooting

  7. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Remember when everyone out there way saying how the Nets won free agency after signing both KD and Kyrie? They’re not saying that anymore.

    The big winners in free agency were the Clippers. With Houston in 2nd.

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