Atlantic Notes: Durant, Sixers, VanVleet, Anunoby

New Nets coach Steve Nash envisions a versatile role for Kevin Durant that would have him see time at all five positions, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Nash discussed Durant during an appearance this week on J.J. Redick‘s podcast, saying Durant has the skills to succeed anywhere on the court.

“Kevin, with his length, is a matchup problem for everyone,” Nash said. “(Kyrie Irving’s) excellent off the ball. Kevin can play all five positions, and I plan to use him in all five positions. I get excited to use some of the guys on the roster: Caris (LeVert), (DeAndre Jordan), Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris.”

Scouts and other league personnel who spoke to Lewis believe Brooklyn could have some devastating lineups with Durant at center, especially in a conference where the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Raptors’ Pascal Siakam have succeeded in that role.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers are considering a front office shakeup that would include the addition of a president of basketball operations, sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. One source indicated that Trail Blazers executive Neil Olshey may be interested, but only if he has complete control over basketball decisions as both president and general manager. Rumors have surrounded former Hawks executive Danny Ferry, but the Sixers are denying that he’s a potential candidate. A source says the team plans to ask about Rockets GM Daryl Morey and Pacers president Kevin Pritchard, but the source doesn’t expect either to wind up in Philadelphia.
  • Fred VanVleet will be the Raptors‘ priority in free agency and they’ll find it expensive to keep him, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Smith estimates that Toronto could could give VanVleet a new deal starting at around $20MM per season while still retaining a maximum salary slot for the summer of 2021. He adds that the team may have to sacrifice Norman Powell or convince him to rework his contract to make that happen.
  • Raptors small forward OG Anunoby has signed with Klutch Sports Group, the agency announced on Twitter.
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27 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Durant, Sixers, VanVleet, Anunoby

  1. Sillivan

    Nets have so much talents in the bench

    Do you think there is a chance for Heat and Celtics?

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Brooklyn may have a lot of depth, but unfortunately they still have Kyrie for 3 more years at $35M/year and who knows what they will get out of KD at $41M/year. They should really temper their expectations for him coming off such a major injury that could easily drop him from being an MVP-type player down to someone who barely averages 20 PPG which isn’t much of an accomplishment in a weak eastern conference.

      • Sillivan

        Durant injury could turn him into a bad defender but Nets can win 60 games easily

      • Otogar

        Averaging 20 points is a non-accomplishment that only 12 players in the East accomplished this season.

  2. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Like Morey is going to leave Houston to clean up the mess in Philly? Too funny.

    • Lakers1

      Rockets are in salary cap hell, have no picks and are getting old.. that’s a dream job for any gm to stay with .. Morey would be smart to leave..

    • x%sure

      Morey has his own mess to clean up, and likely, he will have to do it without undoing previous decisions.

      I presume that’s why Brand is looking at demotion.

      • Sillivan

        Fans want Morey to clean up the mess for Westbrook and Gordon contracts
        Still $200 million contracts remaining
        Still overpaid By 100 million remaining
        One of the biggest mess in the nba history

    • GoLandCrabs

      The only thing funny is you actually believe the Rockets are a desirable situation. They are literally Sixers west. Perennial underachieving, not many picks left and multiple bad contracts. Sixers are in the exact same mess as the Rockets are. Morey is nothing special either. Bad GM living off the glory of 1 good trade in 2012.

  3. Sillivan

    76ers have the toughest GM and coach jobs
    Are they able to trade Horford to save the tax and improve?

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Surely they will have no problem trading him to Houston, right?

      • phillyballers

        You can trade anyone. Every untradeable contract gets traded somehow.

        • Sillivan

          I’d take Horford contract and 76ers 5 picks
          Rockets need picks badly

  4. I give no fox

    Please oh please bring in someone over Elton brand. You want to be a championship contender yet you hand the keys over to an inexperienced executive. Unfortunately the damage is done and the Sixers cap space no longer exists.

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    Sixers are young. Better off than older Rockets. Rockets have worse cap issues. Sixers just need to move Horford. Or both Harris n Horford. Rockets best chance is moving Westbrook now. Harden is 31 so still can have a 3-4 yr run. Run at playoffs. He is never winning.
    Actually Sixers and Rockets can help themselves. Harris is 28 plus picks. Gives Rockets a true chance. Westbrook can put Sixers in East Finals. Harris and Richardson and picks. Horford can be moved to NYK or Nets he’s from NY area. He’s a playoff vet for Nets. Or he can mentor and start for Knicks. IMO there are a few teams who would be interested in Horford. KAT loves him, Horford mentored him. They played on Dominican Olympic team. Westbrook is a better fit and player. When he is the lead guard. Like he was in OKC. It’s just not a good mix with Harden. Harris is a much better mix team wise. He still gives them 20. And Richardson can start with Harden.

    • adamsessler

      Lol. No way that the PHI wants anything to do w/ Westbrook. He is the most overrated player in the league, & has the worst, most untradeable contract in the NBA.

      Westbrook’s place on the All-NBA 3rd team was completely undeserved. It was based on his reputation & by his gaudy traditional stats. Yes, that stat line, 27-8-7, looks very impressive, more so that Lowry’s 19-5-8, but this is why looking traditional alone stats fail.

      Westbrook is simply 1 of the most inefficient scorers in the NBA, & the main reason for that is he’s among the worst 3PT shooter in the NBA, but he lacks the self-awareness to see that. He has shot under 30% from 3PT range in 5 of the last 6 yrs., but during that time, he’s taken over 2000 3PTers, averaging about 5 3PTA a game. Last season, he finished last among qualifiers in 3PT% w/ a paltry 25.8%…but that didn’t stop him from taking over 200 in the regular season & another 33 in the playoffs (he shot just 24.4% from 3PT in the playoffs…). PHI already has a PG who can’t shoot in Ben Simmons, but at least Simmons is self-aware enough that he doesn’t take those shots (he took only 7 3’s last season & only 24 in his 3-yr. career.).

      Westbrook’s True Shooting % ranks 151 out of 195 qualifiers in the NBA. By Win Shares, he’s 27th in the NBA among guards, which puts him at slightly above avg among starting NBA guards. I’m not saying he’s trash, he does a lot of things well, & those things offset his inefficient scoring to be a net positive player, but he’s not 1 of the best, or most valuable, players in the NBA, certainly not worthy of being on any of the All NBA Teams.

      Also, Westbrook’s game relies almost exclusively on his freakish athleticism & his tenacity. The latter is not going away, but he’s about to turn 32 yrs. old, so his athleticism will start to fade. Consequently, his game will not age well. When Vince Carter freakish athleticism began to fade, he became more of a jump shooter, & he had the humility to accept lesser roles on teams. When Jordan’s athleticism declined, he developed a deadly turnaround jump shot. Westbrook hasn’t shown the humility or the self-awareness to make any adjustments to his game at all. Considering Westbrook is owed another $130M for the next 3 years, his contract is untradeable.

      • x%sure

        Russ gets too happy about making a play inside. It’s like, I’m a guard, look what I did. But it’s his new job to work inside. Maybe when he gets n offseason to mentally adjust.

      • illowa

        Russ was just traded last year. Thought john wall had the worst untradeable contract. Wall hasn’t even played on his new contract and dont see him going anywhere this year or anytime soon.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Stats are for people who never played. If you actually watch him. Half the stuff you say is totally untrue. OKC teams he had to dominate the ball. He is not a shooter. He is a scorer. You know what kind of stat a season triple double is. Something not even Bron has done. No one says anything about Brons athleticism at 35. Please, that’s like the weakest shot I’ve heard. He’s never played with a Center like Embiid. He will know how to use him. He took OKC to Finals as KD was his second. Talent can’t be taught. There are very few in NBA who has his talent. Chemistry is a whole other thing. He’s never been on a true team. OKC wasn’t that’s why KD left. Rockets sure ain’t. And he easily put up numbers. If you think he doesn’t want to win. Then you need to follow another sport. There is no one in NBA who wants to win more. But it takes a team to win. A good team with chemistry. Something he’s never had. The attention he will draw only makes life easier for Ben n Embiid. Considering Sixers are stuck with bad chemistry. It just makes sense. I would bet him on that team goes to Finals. Westbrook is Giannis at Guard. He needs a team who understands that. He is a much better team player now. If he could play with Harden. He can play with anybody. What exactly you think a three point shot is. You think cause more do it. You are suppose to shoot it. That’s like dumbest shut ever. Kareem never shot a three. His FG% is 56% for his career. Can you understand what this means. Giannis FG% is 56% this yr. Westbrook put numbers shooting 45% FG. Roll that thru your brain. He has done triple double yrs. three in a row. No one in history has done that. Efficiency means a lot. But real numbers means more. You got time to post 1000 words to talk about Westbrook. But nothing about the take. This is about Westbrook in Philly. Where he is better off than in Houston. And Harris in Houston where he is better off than Philly. This not a three point shooting contest. You are the guy who will tell me Bird was better than Dr J too, right. There is talent. Then there is talent that mixes better with players. That’s why coaches get paid 5-10 mill a yr. Why do you think Bill Russell got more rings than Chamberlain. Russell himself will tell you Wilt was greatest ever. Please dude

    • El Don

      Al, KAT is from NJ but Horford is from POP, Puerto Plata in my beloved Dominicana, not from the NY-NJ area. Yeah there are millions of us there, but he is right from down here! When he was 14 he moved with his family to Lansing, Michigan. Then he played 3 years for the Florida Gators before coming to the NBA.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Got you. KAT is from here. You know uptown NY has biggest Dominican neighborhood in USA. When they playEd for Dominican national team. The team was up here a few times. I just figured he was from this area. His father (Horford) played in NBA. Tito Horford was bigger than Al. He was first Dominican to play in NBA.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    VanVleet is a player Raptors should keep. Lowry has one yr left. I pretty sure they keep him. But if Raptors want to regroup get deeper. And ready for Lowry leaving. They can do a three way with VanVleet, Horford and another team. I doubt Knicks would sign VanVleet. It’s just rumors and and always using NY to up the ante. In the end I think he stays.

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