The Knicks may have gotten the steal of the draft when they selected Cleanthony Early with the 34th pick, opines Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. The article also notes that Early plans on using his draft night slide as motivation, saying, “At the end of the day, they made their decision, they made their choices, and they’re going to have to live with that, they’re going to have to stick with that. I’m going to have to live with that, I’m going to have to stick with that. But the only difference is, the way my heart is set up and the way I am, I’m going to use it as motivation. It fires me up. If I ever feel like I am being overlooked or I feel like I got something to prove, I’m willing to accept that challenge. The only thing I have to do is get in the gym and continue doing what I’ve been doing.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- Trevor Mbakwe‘s contract with Germany’s Bamberg has opt out clauses for both the NBA and the Euroleague, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
- It’s been a strange ride for the Nets that got even stranger when Jason Kidd left town, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
- Reports of a deal between the Hawks and Kent Bazemore are premature but Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that he has a face-to-face meeting with Atlanta tomorrow.
- The Sixers are willing to trade with the Rockets for Jeremy Lin, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, but Philly wants a first rounder included in any deal.
- The Cavs are trying to create a maximum salary slot for LeBron James, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Cleveland is searching for a third team to take Marcus Thornton from the Nets, so the Cavs could then unload Jarrett Jack, Wojnarowski reports.
Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.