Atlantic Notes: Barrett, Brunson, Harden, Harris, Stoudamire

Knicks wing RJ Barrett is expected to miss around a week with a lacerated right index finger, a source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Barrett sustained in the injury just two minutes into Tuesday’s loss to Dallas when he appeared to get scratched by Luka Doncic when the two players were vying for possession of the ball, per Bondy.

The 22-year-old has been ruled out for Thursday’s game against San Antonio, the Knicks announced (via Twitter). Jalen Brunson, who missed his first return to Dallas on Tuesday, is once again listed as questionable with right hip soreness.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Following up on weekend report indicating that James Harden is contemplating a return to Houston in free agency, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his Lowe Post podcast that there are “whispers around the league” that Harden wants to continue doing one-plus-one contracts going forward — in other words, a two-year deal with a player option (hat tip to RealGM). The star guard went that route last summer with the Sixers in free agency, opting for short-term flexibility over long-term security.
  • The Knicks reportedly had internal discussions about trading for forward Tobias Harris, which prompted Kyle Neubeck of to examine the rumor from the Sixers‘ side of things. While Neubeck doesn’t doubt the veracity of the rumor, he also doesn’t think the Sixers would have any interest in what the Knicks might realistically offer for Harris, who has been a valuable contributor for Philadelphia in 2022/23, even if his contract isn’t ideal.
  • Former player and current Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire has accumulated plenty of coaching credits since playing days ended, but Tuesday marked the first time he was the acting head coach in an NBA game, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (subscription required). Stoudamire, who hopes to become a head coach in the league, filled in when interim head coach Joe Mazzulla unexpectedly missed the win over Houston due to eye irritation, according to Washburn. “We pretty much knew what we wanted to do,” said Stoudamire, who only found out he’d be in charge about 15 minutes before tip-off. “Honestly, it’s a collaborative effort. Everybody plays their part in situations like this. And it’s been like this pretty much all season. For me, it was just a matter of going out there and truly not messing it up.”
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