Atlantic Notes: Bazley, Maxey, Herro, Tucker, Knicks

New Nets power forward Darius Bazley envisions himself as being a versatile, defense-first contributor for Brooklyn, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post.

Following a 2022/23 season split between the Thunder and Suns, the 6’8″ big man inked a one-year, veteran’s minimum agreement with Brooklyn, citing the team’s energy and chemistry as reasons why the Nets appealed to him.

“Just watching them a little bit in the playoffs, also just throughout the course of the season, the new team that they had towards the end here, they looked like they had fun,” Bazley said. “They looked like they played hard and together. It was just something I wanted to be a part of. When it all came down to it, Brooklyn was the place to be.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • As chatter about Damian Lillard‘s demand to be traded to the Heat continues, league executives who spoke with Sean Deveney of suggested that a stronger package could be put together around Sixers shooting guard Tyrese Maxey, whom they see as a better young player than Miami shooting guard Tyler Herro. “I like Herro, I think everyone does,” a rival scout said. “But when you look at where these guys are gonna be in four or five years, you can see a lot more growth potential with Maxey. He is more of an attacker, he gets into the lane, he is a lot more efficient with his shot. And you know, in today’s game, efficiency is everything. So I mean, it’s a no-brainer in that respect.”
  • Sixers star guard James Harden continues to want out of town, while veteran power forward P.J. Tucker‘s name was recently floated as a potential piece to include in a possible trade. Kyle Neubeck of wonders if it may behoove Philadelphia strategically to move off Tucker’s contract. Though the 39-year-old remains a high-level defender, his meager offensive contributions last seasons don’t necessarily portend a bright future in that regard. Neubeck notes that moving Tucker for cap relief and/or a more athletic player could help the club.
  • Although the Knicks have now signed three players to fill their three two-way contracts heading into the 2023/24 season, the team is not permitted to withdraw its two-way qualifying offer to Duane Washington Jr. without his permission, in accordance with NBA guidelines, as Fred Katz of The Athletic observes (Twitter links). If Washington were to accept his two-way QO, the Knicks would have to waive one of their two-way players, since they’re not permitted to carry four.
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