Eastern Notes: Stevens, Pacers, Heat, Raptors

Having already said in March that he had no intention of leaving Boston for the Hoosiers, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens addressed an Adrian Wojnarowski report that stated Indiana University was willing to offer him $70MM over seven years to become the program’s head coach.

“I was never offered a package. That’s all news to me. Secondly, I wasn’t going to leave anyways,” Stevens said, per Kyle Hightower of The Associated Press. “I was never offered that. I don’t know where that came from.”

While Stevens’ comments read like a dismissal of Wojnarowski’s report, it’s worth noting that there’s not actually any contradiction between what Stevens and Woj are saying. Wojnarowski reported that Indiana was “prepared” to make that seven-year offer to the Celtics’ coach, but if the Hoosiers got word that Stevens wasn’t interested in the job, it makes sense that the offer was never formally submitted.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • As the Pacers near the end of what has been a disappointing season, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) looks ahead to some big questions the team will have to answer in the offseason, including potentially finally deciding to trade one of Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis.
  • The Heat now have the ability to sign a 15th player to a rest-of-season contract while staying below the luxury tax threshold. With that in mind, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald considers some of the team’s options, whether it’s a veteran, a developmental player, or a promotion for one of Miami’s current two-way players.
  • The Raptors are stuck in an odd spot, caught between tanking and competing for the final play-in spot in the East, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic writes. The team appeared prepared to throw in the towel, having sat a handful of veteran players within the last week or two. But if tanking is the goal, the Raps aren’t having much luck so far, writes Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star. Toronto has won three games in a row and is just a half-game back of Chicago for the No. 10 seed.
  • Doug Smith of The Toronto Star explains that the Raptors received their $25K fine from the NBA over the weekend because they said Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby would miss Friday’s game for “rest” purposes, but head coach Nick Nurse said they were bothered by foot and knee issues, respectively. Those ailments weren’t noted on the injury report at all prior to Friday’s game.
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