Atlantic Notes: Carter, Payne, Nets, O’Connell

In a wide open draft, the Sixers will have an intriguing choice to make with their No. 16 first round draft pick. Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports makes the case for Providence point guard Devin Carter, one of the elite defenders in the NCAA during 2023/24.

A junior last season, he averaged 19.7 points on a .473/.377/.749 shooting line, along with 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Philadelphia could use a major influx of athleticism next season, and Neubeck contends that, given Carter’s experience, he should be able to earn rotation minutes right away.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers reserve point guard Cameron Payne was arrested in Arizona after he made a false report and would not identify himself, reports Zach Buchanan of The Phoenix New Times. Both offenses are misdemeanors. Splitting his time between Milwaukee and Philadelphia last season (he was flipped for veteran Patrick Beverley midway through the year), Payne averaged a cumulative 7.4 points per game on .432/.390/.866 shooting, plus 2.5 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 0.5 steals.
  • The Nets face a fascinating offseason this summer, and will have some big decisions to make about two key starters, states longtime basketball insider Yossi Gozlan (YouTube video link). Center Nic Claxton is an unrestricted free agent, and is looking for a major raise coming off a two-year, $17.3MM deal with Brooklyn. In October, star forward Mikal Bridges will become eligible to ink a three-season, $113MM contract extension with the club. Gozlan notes that Brooklyn could make a move to trade for a star player now, or could explore a more thorough rebuild.
  • During a recent Knicks free agent minicamp, former Duke shooting guard Alex O’Connell led about 20 players in scoring, reports Ian Begley of (via Twitter). New York possesses the G League rights to O’Connell, who spent the 2023/24 season playing for Italian club Reyer Venezia.
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