Atlantic Notes: Lowry, M. James, Embiid, Knicks, Nets

Asked today about his upcoming free agency, Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry mentioned a number of factors that he’ll consider as he makes his decision, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Lowry cited family considerations as one important factor, along with “money” and “years,” as well as his desire to win more championships (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of

Perhaps most interestingly, Lowry suggested his future may be tied in part to that of president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, who is the Raptors’ other key free agent this summer: “I told him this, the only reason I’m still here is because of him. Part of the reason I re-signed here twice is because of him. That is a large part of why I am able to be who I am and gotten to this point.”

Based on Lowry’s comments about prioritizing family and competing for titles, Eric Koreen of The Athletic believes the six-time All-Star is probably more likely to join a new team than to return to the Raptors. However, Lowry also hinted that he may have unfinished business with his current club after a disappointing 2020/21 season spent away from Toronto.

“It does play a factor in it because I enjoy the challenge of people counting me out, counting the team out,” Lowry said. “I enjoy that competitive nature, and I wanna challenge myself and see what I can continue to help do and build. But a lot of things will be factored into this summer and this free agency. The unfinished business thing is part of it, a little bit.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • There has been an expectation that Mike James‘ stint with the Nets will be temporary, since he remains under contract with EuroLeague powerhouse CSKA Moscow through 2022/23. However, international reporter Chema de Lucas tweets that James may try to stay in the NBA beyond this season, and Aris Barkas of suggests CSKA Moscow would be open to that idea if they can save some money and keep James away from their European rivals.
  • When Joel Embiid suffered a knee injury on March 12 that was later diagnosed as a bone bruise, he initially feared that it would be a season-ender, he tells ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, who published an in-depth feature on the Sixers center. “As soon as I fell, the first thing that I’m thinking is: ‘My season is over,'” Embiid said. Having avoided a major injury such as an ACL tear, the big man returned to action just three weeks later, on April 3.
  • Loosened restrictions on gathering in New York mean that the Knicks and Nets are in position to significantly increase their arena capacities for the postseason, as Steve Popper of Newsday details.
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