Atlantic Notes: VanVleet, Nurse, Knicks, Celtics

Making an appearance today on Sportsnet program Tim and Sid in Canada, Raptors head coach (and 2020 Coach of the Year) Nick Nurse said that he expects free agent starting guard Fred VanVleet to re-sign with Toronto, per Sportsnet’s Steven Loung (Twitter link).

As we discussed previously, VanVleet, the premiere unrestricted free agent guard of this offseason, could command something close to the four-year, $85MM contract guard Malcolm Brogdon agreed to in a sign-and-trade with the Pacers last season. VanVleet proved a key contributor for the Raptors, who enjoyed a strong season after losing Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

VanVleet had his best year during the 2019/20 season, as he became a full-time starter for the first time with the Raptors. Brogdon was a similarly high-level starting creator for an East contender at the same junction in his career as VanVleet finds himself in now, his age-26 season.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • In a conference call today, Nick Nurse talked about his new extension with the Raptors, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN“I don’t know if it’s a load off my mind or anything,” Nurse said. “Obviously, man, I love being here and love the job, and there’s nothing not to love, man.”
  • New Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau will need to shore up the shooters on his roster for his preferred style of play, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News suggests.
  • With the Celtics in a 3-1 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe explores the steps the team can take to win the series and advance to its first Finals appearance since 2010. Beyond this season, front office decisions loom on two playoff rotation Celtics: Brad Wanamaker, a restricted free agent with a cheap $1.8MM qualifying offer, and Daniel Theis, whose $5MM contract for next season becomes fully guaranteed in October. Fellow rotation players Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter both have player options for 2020/21.
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24 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: VanVleet, Nurse, Knicks, Celtics

  1. Sillivan

    Many wants to see what contracts Knicks will offer VanVleet and Harrell

    Demand and supply

    • C-Daddy

      Signing either of those guys would be classic Knicks – grossly overpaying for players that won’t move the needle.

      • MikeWiz

        Yup, probably going to trade Frank, Knox, and like 3 picks for Chris Paul. Then overpay someone who will tear their ACL during training camp. Classic Knicks.

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      I wouldn’t offer Harrell that much. His limitations were shown up in the playoffs. Can’t shoot and a poor rebounder. Vanfleet would be worth the same as brogdon

  2. case7187

    I don’t think there’s going to much turnover for the C’s the only one who might us their op-out is Kanter and i would be ok with that they need to find a 6th and 7th man their bench has been the weakest part of the team

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      There needs to be some turnover. Boston has been stuck as the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best team in the east for the past 5 or 6 years now.

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      Robert Williams is better than Kanter and actually plays some D. If he can get a midrange jumper and a hook shot going to add to his dunks and putbacks, he’d be a valuable asset

  3. x%sure

    Easy small calls for Ainge in theory… Theis, Wannamaker, and Javonte Green PER13rookie. Yet they did seem to lack depth. I guess they are going with their switching center scheme… having Jaylen Brown jumping all over helps that. Actually their only letdowns have been their two wealthiest, $65 million in glue.

    Gotta trade Hayward for maybe 6th man returns, or… Well they are losing to a team with an intimidating center. Drummond?

  4. El Don

    Don’t see the comparison of FVV to Brogdon! IMO Brogdon is a lot better than FVV! Brogdon has more size, length, is a better defender, passer… & so on…

    • Count that baby and a foul!

      If so not by much. Your forgetting a very important thing. Van Vleet was a key contributor to a championship.

      • El Don

        Brogdon is an All-Star & FVV ain’t…
        FVV was the 6th best player at best in TOR, actually the 7th probably in the championship team, I mean Kawhi, Siakam, Gasol, Lowry, Green & Ibaka were more important than him, not like this year, were he was the 3rd guy up… but no championship, right?

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      Fred is a winner and isn’t nearly as injury prone as Malcolm is. They both have their pros and cons. Fred should be looking to get a similar deal as brogdon

  5. Reflect

    I think the biggest thing the Celtics need is a new coach. They would already be in the finals if they just didn’t have constant turnovers. When the whole team is doing it I see a coaching problem.

    • Chris_Favreau

      Turnovers are not on the coach… That’s all on the players, not the scheme. You have to remember that the C’s are a young team overall. Their 2 best players are 22 and 23 yrs old, going up against a veteran team in the finals. C’s just need to keep developing the young guys and need to add a couple of vets to their bench. They are getting very close to being in the finals.

      • Reflect

        I agree about the young players, but even the older players (like Smart and Kemba) are turning it over too much.

      • Reflect

        Turnovers are sometimes a result of a bad offense.
        People don’t force plays if they have good plays available to them.

        • Chris_Favreau

          They were a top 5 offense this year. It’s not the offensive scheme. Stevens is a top 5 coach in this league… He wouldn’t be easily replaced. And for what it’s worth Kemba, Heyward, and wannamaker are the only players that are “old” on the team..30 and up…Smart is still only about 26 and hasn’t quite reached his prime yet. The future is bright for the C’s. :)

          • x%sure

            They’re going to lose because the HC is insistent upon challenging Adebayo, but the future is bright… As long as someone keeps paying the tax. When Hayward leaves, time to pay Tatum.

  6. Unless Rose has a lobotomy, Knicks won’t be pursuing Harrell. If they pursue a big, it would likely be a stretch big who can defend. Fairly safe to say the Knicks won’t pursue any pricy veteran player that isn’t a good 3 pt shooter.

    FVV is a possible FA target for them if he’s really available. If Toronto is willing to make the market with his Bird rights to keep him, then he’s likely off the table before the moratorium ends. Not a lot of cap space around, so if he and the Raps aren’t on the same page, then the Knicks should at least kick the tires. Plugging in a solid two way young vet at PG is consistent with a rebuild. With FA occurring a month before the draft, it would also relieve them of position considerations in a draft where I think flexibility will be a friend.

    • x%sure

      Looks like they’re not moving it back… Free agency starts Oct 18, the draft Nov 18. Gotta remember, x%sure.
      Last year the draft preceded free agency by 10 days.prece

      FVV has good numbers on defense & age.

      • At this point, there is no chance they can move the draft back (they moved it forward to Nov 18 in response to whining from the FO’s about evaluation, and the combine schedule is set). Many FO’s were calling for the draft to be held after FA starts for years, so there may have been a mix of reasons for FO’s wanting it this way and/or for the league agreeing to it. But it will change how teams approach both FA and the draft doing it this way.

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