Scott O'Neil

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Smart, Knicks, O’Neil

The Nets have come to a crossroads with Spencer Dinwiddie, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post, and now they’ll have a decision to make. Fortunately, they have options.

One option would be to re-sign the 28-year-old guard, but between their depth at the position and Dinwiddie’s vocalized desire for either a big payday or a return to his home of Southern California, that may not be in the cards. Dinwiddie has been very open about the process.

If Brooklyn wants to use my Bird Rights and sign me, I’d be thankful to be back and be able to go and try to win,” he said. “And if not, then as an unrestricted free agent you can kinda choose where you wanna go. It’s an interesting situation to be in.”

If the Nets don’t re-sign him, there are two choices: let him walk, potentially across the bridge to the Knicks, who have the cap space to sign him, or try to sign-and-trade him to a destination of his choice, though it’s unlikely such a move would bring back equal value, Lewis writes.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg examines whether the Celtics should extend Marcus Smart this summer, in the wake of head coach Ime Udoka‘s comments referring to Smart as a “foundational piece.” Smart is the only starting-caliber guard currently on the Celtics’ roster, and is eligible for a four-year extension worth up to a maximum of $77.2MM.
  • The Knicks have struggled for years to match their ambitions in superstar-hunting with their ability to attract such talent. That may be changing, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “I think having [head coach Tom] Thibodeau there will help the Knicks a great deal in free agency,’’ former Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “He has a great reputation connecting with players and, of course, winning.”
  • Scott O’Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Sixers, has stepped down from his position after eight years, the team announced on Wednesday. “I would like to thank (Sixers owners) Josh Harris and David Blitzer for inspiring, engaging and empowering me to bring together the most talented executive team in sports and entertainment,” O’Neil said. “Josh and David are extraordinary leaders, partners and friends.” O’Neil is also selling his silent limited partnership, reports Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Atlantic Notes: Smith, Crowder, Scola

Former Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith is still upset with team president Phil Jackson for publicly discussing Smith’s personal life during an interview this past summer, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. “It was crazy to me because I try to leave my personal life on the side and when somebody sits there, sits behind a desk and tells you to open up on what’s going on with you, you’re thinking that’s going to be between the two of y’all,” Smith told Begley. “So, for me, it tells me something I already knew. But to come from someone like Phil, it’s just, it’s crazy. It makes you not want to tell anybody anything [that has] anything to do with your business. It was tough, but that’s how he handles stuff, that’s how he does it.”

Despite his negative feelings regarding Jackson’s comments, Smith still thinks back on his time in New York fondly, Begley adds. “There were ups and downs, to be expected, but I had more ups than I had downs when I was here, I think,” Smith said. “I’m just glad I was able to play here. A lot of people can’t play here, under the lights, under the pressure. I’m just glad I was one of those few who was able to.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil takes issue with any assertion that the team’s rebuilding process is moving along at too slow a pace, pointing to the team’s two potential cornerstones in Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, as well as the potential four first round draft picks that the franchise could have in next year’s draft, Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “I want to scream, like, ‘Are you guys kidding me?’ ” O’Neil said. “I would scream it. When people say, ‘You’re set back. You’re too slow,’ I’m like, ‘Have you guys lost your [expletive] minds?’ Like, seriously, this is it.
  • Jae Crowder‘s intense focus on improving his defense is paying dividends for both the player and the Celtics, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Through the team’s first seven contests, Crowder is leading the league with 3.4 steals per game, Himmelsbach notes. “All I try to do is make an impact on the defensive end every night,” Crowder said. “It’s not going to be perfect. You’re not going to hold someone scoreless in this league, but you can make it tough on them and you can have an impact on the game.” The 25-year-old re-signed with Boston this offseason on a five-year, $35MM arrangement.
  • Raptors power forward Luis Scola has increased his 3-point shot attempts this season in an effort to adapt to the way big men are being utilized in today’s NBA, writes Eric Koreen of The National Post. “The NBA is moving in that direction,” Scola said. “We all know how effective the three-point shot is in the basketball game today. I’m trying to adapt. That’s the way teams are playing.” Scola has attempted 1.8 deep balls per contest thus far, which is a significant bump from the 0.4 he notched per game in 2014/15, Koreen notes.
  • The Celtics have assigned Terry Rozier to the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Rozier’s first trip to the D-League of the season.

Odds & Ends: Raptors, Camby, Oden, Bynum

The Raptors' buyout of center Marcus Camby will save the club $2MM in 2013/14, according to Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.  The veteran had a guaranteed $5.4MM between this year's salary and the $1MM partial guarantee on 2014/15 and he agreed to part ways with Toronto for $3.4MM.  The Raptors will take a cap hit of $2.8MM for the coming season and $646K for 2014/15.  Here's more from around the Association..

  • In addition to the Hawks, Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter) hears that the Spurs and Pelicans also have representatives at Greg Oden's latest workout audition in Indianapolis.  
  • It's no secret that the Andrew Bynum deal didn't work out for the Sixers and yesterday, new CEO Scott O'Neil apologized to fans for how it turned out, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • There are two main questions to consider when weighing the idea of the Wizards giving point guard John Wall an extension, argues Tom Ziller of SBNation.com.
  • The Raptors announced that they have filled out their coaching staff with assistants Bill Bayno and Jesse Mermuys.

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Garcia, Cavs, Knicks

As a pair of Bynums continue to draw interest from Eastern Conference teams, let's check out a few more noteworthy items from around the East….

  • Bulls GM Gar Forman has received plenty of calls this offseason from teams interested in discussing trades, but seems content to stand pat for one more year, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Francisco Garcia's agent, Aaron Goodwin, tells Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link) that his client turned down an offer from the Knicks in part due to avoid losing his Bird rights.
  • The Cavaliers had interest in Nikola Pekovic, but the big man "wants to stay in Minnesota," a source tells Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link). For now, Cleveland appears to have shifted its attention to Andrew Bynum.
  • Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com passes along a few updates on the Knicks' potential free agent targets.
  • Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg Sports reports (via Twitter) that the 76ers have hired former MSG Sports president Scott O'Neil as their new CEO, with the team confirming the move in a press release. Former CEO Adam Aron will remain a Sixers co-owner and board member. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News first reported in June that O'Neil was close to joining the club in an executive role.

Odds & Ends: Wizards, Splitter, Bosh, Nets, Bucks

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the trade that sent Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza from New Orleans to the Wizards in exchange for Rashard Lewis and last year's No. 46 pick (Darius Miller). Lewis celebrated by picking up a championship with the Heat, who acquired him after the Pelicans bought him out. The date was notable for the Wizards, too, since it meant the expiration of a trade exception worth $1,853,491 that the team generated as part of the deal. Washington has until February to use its other trade exception, from the Jordan Crawford swap, as noted in our continuously updated database. Here's more from around the league:

  • Many NBA executives believe restricted Spurs free agent Tiago Splitter will draw offers in the $8-10MM range this summer, according to Grantland's Zach Lowe, who debates the merits of a Chris Bosh trade for the Heat as part of his piece on the aftermath of the Finals.
  • The agent for former Mavericks guard Dominique Jones has had discussions with the Nets, and Jones is set to take part in a three-day free agent mini-camp the Bucks are holding, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. If he doesn't return to the NBA next season, Jones would prefer to play overseas rather than hit the D-League again.
  • Demetris Nichols hasn't played in the NBA since 2008/09, but he was a First Team All-D-League selection this year, and that's prompted the Spurs and Bucks to schedule workouts with the 28-year-old small forward, as Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com tweets.
  • The Timberwolves reportedly believe Derrick Williams and the No. 9 pick could allow them to land a top-three selection next week. However, Wolves exec Flip Saunders told Dan Barreiro of KFAN radio that he doesn't think such a package, plus the No. 26 pick, could pry the No. 2 pick from the Magic, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune notes via Twitter.
  • Chandler Parsons says he talks to Dwight Howard every day as he attempts to recruit the Lakers center to the RocketsJonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has the details.
  • Former MSG Sports president Scott O'Neil is close to joining the Sixers in an executive role, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). 
  • Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com has the Sixers taking Steven Adams at No. 11 in his latest mock draft.