Doc Rivers has talked to Ben Simmons about the trade rumors surrounding the point guard but the Sixers coach wouldn’t reveal any details, Rich Hofmann of The Athletic tweets. Simmons has been mentioned prominently as the centerpiece of any package for the Rockets’ disgruntled star, James Harden, if Philadelphia pursues that avenue. “I can tell you that none of this started from us,” Rivers said. “I gave Ben a call (Thursday) night but I’m not going to share what we said. It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the business.”
We have more from the Atlantic Division:
- Joe Harris signed a four-year, $72MM contract in free agency but the Nets swingman isn’t guaranteed of having a bigger role, Mollie Walker of The New York Post writes. Harris averaged a career-best 14.5 PPG last season but that’s likely to drop with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving being the main options. “Obviously, right now, those guys are our focal point offensively,” Harris said. “That’s how we’re going to play our best basketball. That’s how we’re going to be most productive. I think, kind of across the board, a lot of other guys are going to have to adapt.”
- Charles Oakley wants to add Knicks owner James Dolan as a defendant to his assault and battery lawsuit against Madison Square Garden, Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reports. The former Knicks player was forcibly removed, arrested and banned from MSG in 2017. Previously, Oakley contended Dolan had ordered his removal. He is now alleging Dolan ordered the so-called assault. The federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the assault and battery claims in November after a lower court had thrown out the lawsuit’s 10 original claims, Kaplan adds.
- Damyean Dotson wasn’t surprised the Knicks failed to make him an offer in free agency, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Dotson wound up signing a two-year deal with the Cavaliers, though only the first year is guaranteed. “It’s a whole new staff, management, coaches,” Dotson said. “The guys that drafted me, Phil Jackson, has been gone three years now. It’s a new wave. It wasn’t surprising.’’