East Notes: Knicks, Josh Hart, Hornets, Bulls


Guard/forward Josh Hart is eligible to become a free agent after the season, but from the sounds of things, the Knicks are his priority.

“I want bigger things for my wife and myself,” Hart said, via Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “Just find a home somewhere where we are valued and really like living there. And I think that can be New York. I would love for it to be New York and hopefully the organization feels the same way. Coming up, this contract is hopefully my biggest one, one where I’m making sure my family’s fully taken care of. So, I’ve also got to take that into account, too.”

Hart was traded to the Knicks from the Trail Blazers in a February deal involving forward Cam Reddish. He has fit well under coach Tom Thibodeau and alongside his New York teammates.

“Portland was good, but it was just so far and I’m not from the West Coast,” Hart said, via Spears. “It was tough. Not on me, but more so on my wife because she’s not a huge fan of flying. So, she’s all the way in the Pacific Northwest, not really flying, just by herself. That was one of the things that was weighing on me a little bit, just seeing her struggle with that. So, me being gone but being close to home, it’s been great.”

  • Thibodeau is clearly a fan of the St. John’s decision to hire Rick Pitino as coach. The Red Storm play some home games at Madison Square Garden. “When I was a young coach, I used to watch his practices at Providence,” Thibodeau told reporters. “So he’s good man, great coach and I know he’ll do a great job with St. John’s.”


While the Hornets are headed for the lottery, they have no intention to stop competing, guard/forward Kelly Oubre suggested.

“It’s kind of backward when we people are commenting on how bad we played and when we lose they give up on us. But then when we win they say ‘you’re not supposed to win,'” Oubre told reporters after Monday’s win over the Pacers. “So it puts us in a uncomfortable position. But we are going to continue to play hard every night. … We’re in the mind frame of setting up something for next year.”

  • Point guard LaMelo Ball said he expects to be ready for training camp in the fall. Ball underwent season-ending surgery on a broken right ankle on March 1.


Small forward DeMar DeRozan implied Monday’s road win over the 76ers had a playoff-feel to it and that’s not surprising, given that the Bulls are fighting just to qualify.

“We have a bigger goal in mind,” DeRozan said. “We’re fighting for our life every game. We’re just playing with that desperation right now.”

  • As expected, Lonzo Ball underwent surgery on his right knee, the third in a little more than a year. “Everything went well,” coach Billy Donovan said. ““He has a long road to recovery.”
  • There’s speculation that Ball could miss all of next season, too. We have more on that right here.

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