Atlantic Notes: Lawsuit, Knicks, Raptors, Warren, Stevens

While the Knicks made some bold claims in their lawsuit against the Raptors, people around the NBA aren’t convinced it’s as big of a scandal as it might seem on paper, according to Michael Grange of

I’m not being dismissive of this,” a league executive told Grange. “But people take stuff all the time (when they change jobs). Yes, it’s proprietary, but it’s usually their own product; work that they’ve done over time. So, without knowing the sensitivity level or what was taken or how egregious it was, it’s not something I’d care about that much.

“And timing matters, too. If it was mid-season and he was taking stuff for the current year, or the upcoming season, I might be more upset about it, but if it’s from the previous year, I don’t know if I’d be all that mad.”

As Grange writes, the NBA is a copycat league, so proving that the “confidential Knicks information” that was allegedly taken by former employee Ikechukwu Azotam was truly invaluable might be difficult. There’s a reason the Knicks left the damages they’re seeking as “TBD” — they probably don’t know what exactly was taken and if it will materially impact their business, a lawyer told Grange.

Ultimately, Grange thinks the lawsuit is unlikely to go to court and will probably be handled by the NBA. He suggests Toronto might face a six-figure fine and perhaps the loss of a second-round pick.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Head coach Tom Thibodeau will likely gripe about the Knicks‘ schedule for the 2023/24 season, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post (subscriber link). After being tied with the Hornets for the fewest games (five) with “rest advantage” last season, the Knicks have eight such games during the upcoming campaign — tied for fifth-fewest in the league, per Braziller. Rest advantage is exactly what it implies — games in which a team will be more rested than the opponent. The Celtics lead the league with 16 rest advantage games, Braziller notes.
  • The Celtics are working out — or have worked out — a number of veteran free agent wings, including T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens. Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston considers whether Warren and/or Stevens would be good fits for the back end of the roster.
  • In case you missed it, the NBA fined Sixers star James Harden $100K for recent comments he made, but the Players Association disagreed with Harden’s fine and is filing a grievance on his behalf.
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