Journeyman forward Michael Beasley would like to return to the Knicks, but several factors play into that equation, as Marc Berman of the New York Post examines. Beasley returns to the free agent market this summer and has expressed a desire to stay put. “I would love to be back definitely. A lot goes into that,” he told Berman. “We’ll assess the situation in summertime.” The Knicks would likely have to use a portion of their mid-level exception to retain him. However, they could opt to spend it on a younger player or save cap space for the following summer, Berman continues. Their desire to re-sign Beasley also hinges on who will be coaching the team next season, Berman adds.
In other news around the Eastern Conference:
- The Sixers’ playoff appearance will likely be a one-and-done experience if Joel Embiid can’t return for the first round, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. The center’s participation is uncertain due to a concussion and a fractured orbital bone near his left eye. The Sixers have outscored opponents by 11.6 points per possession when he plays and outscored by 3.9 points when he doesn’t play, Pompey notes. The team doesn’t have anyone to match up with the Pacers’ mobile center, Myles Turner, if they face Indiana in the first round without Embiid, Pompey adds.
- Kelly Oubre has been buried in a shooting slump but his subpar defense is the thing that could reduce the Wizards forward’s playing time, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. Coach Scott Brooks criticized Oubre’s defense following a loss to the lottery-bound Bulls on Sunday. “He hasn’t shot the ball well, but I’m more concerned about him getting blown by on defense,” Brooks told Buckner and other media members. “Seems like every time his man is scoring on him. He has to step up and start playing some defense if he wants to continue to play.”
- Pistons veteran power forward Anthony Tolliver has added elements to his game this season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com reports. “It’s really amazing the way he has been able to improve, particularly offensively,”coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Now when people close out on him, he can put the ball on the floor and attack. Not too many guys improve after 30.” Tolliver returns to the free agent market in July after signing a one-year deal with Detroit last summer.
- Magic lottery pick Jonathan Isaac is gaining confidence in his 3-point shooting, George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Isaac attempted a season-high six attempts from long range against the Hawks on Sunday and made half of them. “Throughout the entire season they’ve been telling me let it fly, especially from the corner 3.” Isaac told Diaz.