Atlantic Notes: Celtics’ Trade Exception, VanVleet, Ntilikina, Stoudemire

The Celtics are in no rush to use the $28.6MM traded player exception they acquired in the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade with the Hornets, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. With the trade deadline approximately two months away and most teams still trying to win, potential suitors won’t look to ship out an elite scorer for a draft-heavy trade package at this time, Himmelsbach adds. The exception could also be used during the 2021 offseason. Check out all outstanding trade exceptions here.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is among the 60 players who received an invite from USA Basketball to compete for a spot on this summer’s Olympic team, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star reports. It will be the first time the 26-year-old VanVleet has been included in a USA senior team player pool. Teammate Kyle Lowry also received an invite, Smith adds.
  • Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina suited up on Sunday night but didn’t play, Greg Joyce of the New York Post writes. Ntilikina had been sidelined since December 29 with a right knee sprain. Ntilikina could become an unrestricted free agent this summer unless the organization extends a $7MM+ qualifying offer, which would make him restricted.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire will not be on the Nets’ bench for some of their weekend games due to religious reasons, as Marc Stein of the New York times explains (Twitter link). The former All-Star big man, who is now a player development coach under Steve Nash, has maintained his Orthodox observance of Shabbat, which precludes him from working from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Brooklyn’s management has given him that time off every week with its blessing, Stoudemire wrote on his Instagram page.
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