Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Westbrook, TLC, Celtics

The Sixers are counting on new coach Doc Rivers to deliver more than just a better performance on the court, writes Jabari Young of CNBC. The organization’s ultimate goal is to build a new arena when its lease at the Wells Fargo Center expires in 2031. A proposal to build a new complex in the Penns Landing area of Philadelphia was rejected last month, so the team has begun exploring other sites.

Young notes that it takes about seven years to build a new facility, so the Sixers need to start thinking about funding, which could include tax money. Former NBA executive Andy Dolich told Young that everything gets easier if the team can win a title in the next few years, which would increase support in the community.

“And if you don’t have that going in, that’s dangerous,” Dolich said. “If you have that unity, now Doc and (general manager Elton Brand), more than (chief executive officer Scott O’Neil), they’ve got to deal with the chief product officer because what is most important is those feet on the court. The unity of those three has to translate to winning.”

Rivers’ mission is to create a culture that’s more conducive to success. A staff member from a rival team told Young that the Sixers lacked focus in road games and had a traveling party that was too large. He also called the front office “unorganized,” saying that there were too many executives without clearly defined roles.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks should avoid any temptation to bring in Russell Westbrook and his sizable contract, argues Tommy Beer of Forbes. A report this week stated that New York might have interest if the Rockets look to trade Westbrook, but Beer believes it would be foolish to acquire a 31-year-old who will make $41.4MM, $44.2MM and $47.1MM over the next three years.
  • Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson is a believer in Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, according to a story from NetsDaily. Luwawu-Cabarrot began as a two-way player, but his role grew throughout the season. He started five of Brooklyn’s 12 games in Orlando and averaged 15.1 points while shooting 39.5% from 3-point range. “He’s got a great future and it’s really fun to watch a struggling guy end up winning in the NBA and securing a stable role, and making his mark in the league,” Atkinson said. “That’s what he did and I’m sure he’s going to have another great season next year and have a long career in this league.”
  • Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston ranks the five Celtics players most likely to not return next season, with Semi Ojeleye topping the list.
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24 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Westbrook, TLC, Celtics

  1. phillyballers

    TLC always could ball out in garbage time. Did it during the process years too.

  2. Sillivan

    Westbrook contract is a temptation for Knicks
    Knicks cap space is gone

  3. Dodgethis

    Since nobody wants to sign with the Knicks, reading for someone like westbrook is their only option really. They have shown they can’t draft.

  4. Who’s on the other side of the argument that Beer is having about Westbrook to the Knicks? Someone in the Rockets FO?

    • stretch123

      He does not fit on GSW… The only place I can see him going to is Philly.

  5. brewpackbuckbadg

    Is Westbrook the current day Carmelo? Great stats but not good for the team to really win a championship?

  6. stretch123

    Bringing in CP3 makes more sense than Westbrook. Would cost less in terms of the trade… The Knicks need an entire overhaul of culture and CP3 is exactly who they need to be around the group of young guys there to make them better players. See OKC this past season and how they outperformed expectations. NYK will not be competing for a title any time soon, so taking on a large contract for the right player to help build the culture there makes sense.

  7. Otogar

    For me Westbrook is one of the most, if not the most, untradable players in the NBA. A player with unbelievable conditions but with a low IQ, who is not going to turn you into a contender in spite of having the third most expensive contract in the league. But if there is a team that can fall for it, that’s the Knicks.

    • Sillivan

      Rockets could give Knicks compensation for overpay portion

      With 43 million a year
      Knicks can give Grant 18m to start and VanVleet 25 million to start
      Both are 26.

      • Sillivan

        Rockets compensation to Knicks would be
        4 Firsts But I owe you
        2028 to 2034

    • Jason Lancaster

      I could see Charlotte, Detroit, and NY all having some moderate interest in Westbrook or Paul.

      If you can give up nothing to get you one of these guys, and they single-handedly elevate your team to a 7th or 8th seed, why not?

  8. Chief Two Hands

    The Knicks should find a way to acquire both Westbrook and Kuzma. It just feels right. They wouldn’t improve, but both players fit that organization.

  9. Jason Lancaster

    I never understand the “but the salary cap!” objections to anything NY does. They’re not going to sign any good free agents, and they don’t every have many assets b/c they’re so bad at development.

    NY’s cap space really doesn’t matter – just look at who they’ve given it too in the Dolan era?

  10. x%sure

    Sixer travelling party is said to be too large?— new HC Rivers has hype-men of his own he needs to get established!

  11. KnickerbockerAl

    Sixers should go after Westbrook. Get creative with third team and move Horford. Knicks have plenty of cap. I wouldn’t mind Westbrook for 3 yrs. At 31 you will get good yrs from him. Brings high flying back. Plus we need a PG. Now they can just draft Okoro. Rockets aren’t going to get big return. Except salary relief. Knicks gave expiring contracts. I would give up Smith and future pick. Nothing more. IMO Sixers are best place for Westbrook. And probably best deal Rockets could get. Westbrook is an all star. He was a bad mix with Harden. Everyone is really. Westbrook on Philly they go to Finals.

    • Otogar

      I would say everyone is a bad mix with Westbrook as well. And he is quite similar to Simmons: good passer, nice ability to get to the basket, bad shooter (not as bad as BS but nothing close to reliable). And Simmons is a much better defender. I don’t really see how having RW instead of BS as point guard improves Philly.

  12. harden-westbrook-mvps

    I would like to see what kind of offer the Knicks could come up with to get a top-10 player like Russell Westbrook. Robinson, Portis, Randle and a few decent draft picks?

    • El Don

      That is way too much, remember HOU ain’t getting value, they are just dumping Westbrook, so they will be the ones adding picks!

  13. bradthebluefish

    If that’s all true about the Sixers, then they are clearly underperforming. Hope Doc and company can right the ship.

  14. Reflect

    TLC was a cool group. I still have a couple of their albums.

    They don’t make music groups like they used to.

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