Eastern Notes: Cavs, Ott, Nets, Celtics, Hawks

After spending the past two seasons as a Lakers assistant, Jordan Ott has agreed to join Kenny Atkinson‘s coaching staff with the Cavaliers, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Ott, who previously worked under Atkinson in Brooklyn, interviewed for Charlotte’s head coaching position this spring. According to Wojnarowski, Ott was a finalist in that process before the Hornets ultimately chose Charles Lee.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype first reported that Ott was expected to land in Cleveland as an assistant if the Cavs decided to hire Atkinson.

Here are a few more notes from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Agents and league executives who have spoken to Brian Lewis of The New York Post don’t expect the Nets to opt for an extended rebuilding process that would see them slowly stockpile draft assets and sacrifice their projected 2025 cap room by taking on unwanted multiyear contracts. According to Lewis, the team is considered more likely to hang onto its biggest expiring contracts – including Ben Simmons‘ – and to pursue roster upgrades a year from now when could have upwards of $80MM in cap space.
  • Fred Katz of The Athletic takes a wide-ranging look at the Knicks‘ free agent and trade options to add a backup center, suggesting that Precious Achiuwa might be the top free agent candidate to end up in New York, even though he’s not the sort of “conventional” shot blocker and rim protector that head coach Tom Thibodeau would prefer.
  • In a pair of stories for MassLive.com, Brian Robb examines what the Derrick White contract extension means for the Celtics going forward – from both a roster and cap perspective – and notes that Boston will have a couple holes to fill on its coaching staff after the Hornets announced that former Blaine Mueller and Jermaine Bucknor are joining Charles Lee in Charlotte. Mueller coached the Maine Celtics last season, while Bucknor was a player development coach in Boston. Another Celtics assistant, Sam Cassell, was “heavily targeted” by rival teams seeking an experienced assistant, but appears likely to remain in Boston, Robb adds.
  • The Hawks are being sued by longtime executive and former team president Robert “Bob” Williams, who has accused the team of breach of contract and claims he’s owed a $660K bonus. Rosie Manins of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the details in a subscriber-only story.
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