Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Raptors, Pelle, Anderson

Knicks management didn’t make any public statements during the preseason suggesting they expected to make the postseason, but Ian Begley of hears that the front office privately conveyed to players that anything less than a playoff spot would be a disappointment. According to Begley, Knicks players who can become free agents in 2020 were told they’d be judged more heavily on the team’s win-loss record than on their individual play.

As Begley explains, management may have been trying to motivate a roster that consisted of mostly young players or newcomers. If that was the plan, it has backfired, as the Knicks have fallen well short of those expectations.

Begley’s article is worth checking out in full for more details on the pressure the coaches and players have felt this season and how those preseason expectations influenced the decision to fire David Fizdale. In my view, if Steve Mills and Scott Perry legitimately believed the Knicks should be a playoff team, that should be more of an indictment of their ability to build and evaluate a roster than of the coaches’ or players’ performances.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • While there has been speculation since Kawhi Leonard‘s departure last summer that the Raptors could become sellers due to their expiring veteran contracts, their success this season has made that increasingly unlikely. President of basketball operations Masai Ujiri essentially confirmed as much this week when he said the Raps will “die trying” to defend their title, as Julia Kreuz of relays. “If we do something (on the trade market), it’s out of the fact that we think this is giving us a chance, or a bigger chance, and right now I think we have that chance, if we continue to play ball and continue to figure it out,” Ujiri said.
  • Sixers two-way player Norvel Pelle reached his 45-day NBA limit when he was active on Wednesday night vs. Toronto, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pelle is unsure what’s next for him, suggesting he’ll leave that up to his agent and the team. If he’s not converted to a standard contract – perhaps after the trade deadline – he won’t be eligible to suit up for the 76ers until after the G League regular season ends in late March.
  • The Nets‘ and Raptors‘ G League teams swapped a pair of players with NBA experience, as the Raptors 905 traded swingman Justin Anderson to the Long Island Nets for big man Henry Ellenson. Ellenson was a two-way player for Brooklyn earlier in the season, while Anderson was on a 10-day contract with the Nets this month. Kelsea O’Brien of Raptors Republic first reported the deal (via Twitter).
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8 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Raptors, Pelle, Anderson

  1. Sirsleepit

    How do you load up a roster of power forwards and expect to compete? Better yet, how do you compile that garbage roster and think “postseason” ?

    • All American Johnsonville Dogs

      If they seriously thought them loading up on role players means they’d compete everyone in that front office should be fired immediately.

      Aside from Payton and Morris there signed back ups who have provided backup production.

      Knicks should trade the veterans for what they can and play the young talent.

  2. The literature (using the term loosely) sent from the Knicks to their season ticket holders from after the KP trade through the FA period, when juxtaposed against the facts they themselves laid out over the same period, is all anyone would need to know that they are operating in an alternate reality. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

  3. H.Henderson

    If Mills and Perry thought this roster could compete at highest, for the 8th seed, then they need to be fired today. I’m just waiting to hear in the news that they have been fired. I hope they nail the trade deadline with a solid Morris trade and STILL get fired. If Perry stays i’d be ok with that. Mills on the other hand needs to go. First he gave THJ that terrible contract. Drafted Knox over Michael Porter Jr. and Mikal Bridges. Then panicked and traded KP not realizing that he held ALL THE CARDS in that scenario. Then used up cap space for aged power forwards without getting any future assests out of it. Dolan needs to find people better suited to run this team fast.

  4. Vikings1234

    DeRosen/Aldridge and White for OG/Powell and either Gasol/Ibaka and Stanley and a 2nd.. win win…

  5. Vikings1234

    OG is done.. Powell is really hot and the others are gone end of year

  6. Jason Lancaster

    Get Drummond to guarantee the last year on his deal, and then trade Gasol and a young player for Drummond. Drummond can make the rest of the bigs in the East playoffs work hard on both ends, and cause matchup problems for Boston (and maybe Miami too).

    Seems like a no-brainer if Drummond is willing.

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