Atlantic Notes: Kemba, Tatum, Nets, Knicks

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t expect Kemba Walker to require offseason surgery to address his left knee issues, but said today that the point guard was “definitely not himself” during the playoffs, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. According to Ainge, the club will construct a plan for Walker going forward to try to avoid having that happen again.

“In fairness to Kemba, he doesn’t want to say (that he wasn’t himself). He doesn’t say that to our coaches. He doesn’t say that to you, the media. He doesn’t say that to me. I haven’t heard one excuse from him,” Ainge said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “But watching the games, even the games we won, even the games where he played well, I could tell he wasn’t the same physically as he was in October, November, December. So we’re going to try to get that Kemba back.”

While Walker still made some big plays for the Celtics en route to the team’s appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, his postseason numbers reflect that he wasn’t at his best. He made just 31.0% of his three-point attempts in 17 playoff contests after knocking down 38.1% during the season.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Ainge didn’t sound worried about being able to lock up Celtics forward Jayson Tatum to a long-term contract extension sooner rather than later. “Jayson knows how much we like him,” Ainge said, according to Bontemps. “We have a good relationship. Jayson likes it here, so I’m confident that we’ll be able to work something out this summer — this offseason, I should say.”
  • Appearing on Kevin Durant‘s podcast this week, Nets teammates Durant and Kyrie Irving denied playing a role in Kenny Atkinson‘s dismissal and made some unusual comments about the club’s new head coaching situation. Brian Lewis of The New York Post has the details.
  • Alex Schiffer and William Guillory of The Athletic explore whether a Jrue Holiday trade between the Pelicans and Nets might make sense, as well as what such a deal would look like. The two Athletic writers conclude that it’s probably not a great match.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post takes a closer look at Tyrese Haliburton as a possible Knicks draft target, while Kira Lewis‘ trainer Cory Underwood talks to Ian Begley of about the Alabama guard’s potential fit with the Knicks.
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13 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Kemba, Tatum, Nets, Knicks

  1. imindless

    Kyrie and kd are even more crazy that we thought. Don’t see this ending well for the Nets when this tire fire blows up. Catering to kd and kyrie isn’t a way to build a franchise. Kenny changed the culture and was building something only to be removed as soon as it got going.

  2. joeyrocafella

    “Irving said he’s healthy and ready to go after shoulder surgery that ended his season after just 20 appearances. He added that for the first time he’ll feel comfortable and confident in a teammate taking the final shot.”

    This is a quote from the link in the Nets portion of this post…

    Kyrie is so full of himself! He was teammates with LeBron whom is light-years better than Ky, but this guy wants to throw shade at him? Please stop. Personally, this is why I don’t like Kyrie, he seems like an arrogant jerk and a whiny crybaby.

  3. hiflew

    I was reading about the Nets possibly being interested in Paul George. That would be a completely Nets thing to do. I was playing around with Trade Machine and came up with what deal would have to look like

    Nets get
    Paul George

    Clippers get
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    Lance Thomas
    Taurean Prince
    Jarrett Allen
    Dzanen Musa

    It would also work with Caris LeVert instead of Prince, but I thought this deal would be ridiculously lopsided enough without LeVert.

    If the Nets wanted to make that deal, I’d do it in a heartbeat if I was the Clippers. Would probably have to find a taker for Patrick Beverley and Rodney McGruder in order to take on 5 players, but it would make them so much better in th long run.

      • hiflew

        I disagree. Allen and Dinwiddie are great prospects. Prince and Musa have upside. Thomas is clearly there for salary purposes. But the big thing is that you are getting rid of George’s big deal with 4 years remaining.

        And you have to know that the Nets would include a handful of future first round picks and pick swaps as well. This would easily be the new Garnett/Pierce deal.

    • The Human Rain Delay

      Crazy talk, it would take Spencer and Levert just to get started and I still doubt Clips do it just bc of how awful it all looks-

      Personally Id do Spence Lavert Price Allen but LAC is probably in too deep already

      • hiflew

        You couldn’t do Prince combined with LeVert. They are both poison pills which means you have to bring in the amount of money they are due to make, but they only count as sending out the current salaries.

    • x%sure

      Interesting idea, making the Nets the land of misfit (expensive) toys. But the Clippers are already full of talent possibly getting in each other’s way.

  4. x%sure

    Lue is still available, so I will point out, Jason Tatum is a fairly close cousin and has not yet extended with Boston.

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    That’s exactly why they aren’t with Knicks. That’s not going to fly here. Nets will do whatever to compete. Giving your team to two new players. With a History of changing teams. Not a great idea. Just cause they are all stars. You need a Team to win. This is a Team sport. They think they can pull a Bron. And just get on a team and win. They are not Bron and have never done this. Bron is the best Team player, maybe Ever. Then throw in the 3-4 yr window. Good luck Nets.
    Halliburton is best PG in draft to me. Been saying it since college season. He’s big and plays D. He’s big IQ player who uses his teammates right. Kira Lewis is also a nice talent. If Halliburton is gone. I would not mind them trading down for Kira. But I would also be happy with Okoro. Don’t want no part of Ball. Rather have Lonzo. Plus trading up for him is insane. We need to save our assets for next yr FA, or for a trade. Like a young talent. This yr for Knicks should be all about. Keeping right talent and moving players who don’t fit. Knicks have expiring contracts that can also help in trades. All starts with the three picks this yr. Then explore players who want to leave or have contract yrs coming up. To be able to make trades for. Next yrs FA class is the one to have cap space for. No need to rush into any quick fixes.

  6. rusty.coqbern

    I’m so tired of these narcissistic players who don’t quite understand what a TEAM SPORT is and what it means to be a TEAM PLAYER. Screw both of these idiots. YES they absolutely had their hands dirty when it comes to Atkinson’s firing (they basically calmly laid out why when talking about new coaches w/their philosophies). Are these guys this tone deaf, this self absorbed that they believe it had nothing to do with them? Hahaha, that in itself is a red flag (And Kyrie alone has a track record that we all know about that proves he’s sniffing his own flatulence out of a wine glass)..

    I’m tired of it. Sports used to be a place to go to get away from social issues and problems in life; now it’s a big playpen full of the biggest man-children (and woman children) all having manhood sizing contests. They’re so spoiled and it’s sad. In 20 years will all players have the LeBron ego? Will they all act this way? If so why are we watching it and enabling them anymore?

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