Atlantic Notes: Green, Sixers, Kyrie, Raptors

Veteran stars like Kawhi Leonard and Jamal Murray, who suffered ACL tears in the spring of 2021, didn’t play at all in 2021/22, but Danny Green, who tore his ACL in the Sixers‘ second-round series vs. Miami last week, is optimistic that he won’t have to sit out for all of next season.

“I will be back for All-Star break. You got to believe it. You heard it here first,” Green said on his Inside the Green Room podcast, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I will work my tail off to rehab to get back healthy. My body and my bones usually heal pretty well. I don’t have any bad habits. So, yeah, I think I’ll be back in time to help a team in the playoff run and show and prove that I’m able to still play at that level to help a team get a win in the playoffs.”

Green is technically under contract with the Sixers for 2022/23, but his $10MM salary is non-guaranteed. He acknowledged that the team could certainly waive or trade him since he won’t be ready to play at the start of the season.

“That’s part of the business,” he said. “… We haven’t spoken yet.”

Here are a few more notes from around the Atlantic:

  • The Sixers, whose roster lacks depth and features a number of incomplete players, are in a worse spot now than they were in 2019 when they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Toronto, Pompey writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In Pompey’s view, the team could use a traditional point guard and multiple “versatile and gritty” wings and forwards, but probably lacks the flexibility or the assets to address all of its needs.
  • The Nets have yet to engage in any contract talks with Kyrie Irving, who holds a $36.9MM player option for 2022/23, general manager Sean Marks said in an interview with YES Network (link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post). “It wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know,” Marks said. “We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do (happen), we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic considers which 2022 free agents would be good fits for the Raptors and might be attainable for mid-level or bi-annual money, identifying veterans like Bobby Portis, Malik Monk, and Pat Connaughton as possible targets.
  • In a separate story for The Athletic, Koreen fielded mailbag questions on the Raptors‘ offseason, addressing a number of topics, including whether the team would have interest in restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton. Koreen thinks the Raptors could inquire but that they don’t consider it a top priority to acquire a traditional center and wouldn’t want to give up the assets necessary to sign-and-trade for Ayton.
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