“I think the Nets could be the best regular season team in the East,” one Western Conference general manager said, via Scotto. “I don’t think they will be, but I think they could be. I think they’re probably a top-four team in the East with Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Boston.”
Along with the return of Durant and Irving, Ben Simmons is expected to make his Nets debut. He has progressed to 3-on-3 play following a back injury, per reports. Brooklyn also added forwards Royce O’Neale and T.J. Warren to the mix. They lost Andre Drummond (Bulls) but could add Tristan Thompson (most recently of Bulls) as we relayed here.
“Brooklyn’s a top-four team in the East,” an Eastern Conference general manager said, via Scotto. “They can be really good depending on what Simmons can bring.”
- Despite several reports, the Nets do not have an interest in Carmelo Anthony or Dwight Howard, per Scotto. Both spent last season with the Lakers but aren’t expected to return.
- In case you missed it, Donovan Mitchell is being courted by more than just the Knicks. The Cavaliers, Wizards and Hornets are also said to have an interest. We wrote more about the Cavs’ interest right here and the Wizards’ and Hornets’ interest right here.
- In case you missed it, Part II: Jazz CEO Danny Ainge is said to like two rival offers other than just what the Knicks are floating in a package for Mitchell. That’s not to say he doesn’t like the Knicks’ offer. It’s just that he likes others as well, it seems. Full post here.
Head of basketball operations Brad Stevens said the Celtics have not taken part in any trade discussions in a while. Boston had been linked to Durant, with Jaylen Brown being the reported centerpiece in talks with the Nets.
“Jaylen’s been through this from the standpoint … the noise has been around him for a long time — and big names, right? — over the years,” Stevens told WEEI radio, via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.
The Celtics, of course, already pulled off one fairly big deal, landing Malcolm Brogdon in a trade with the Pacers.
“Since the Brogden trade, we’ve felt really good about our team,” Stevens said, via Forsberg. “We’ve felt really good about building around these guys that we’ve been building around … We’re excited to move forward with our team and that’s really been our focus for a while here.”
Stevens also addressed the fact Brown is due for a contract extension in October.
“He is a huge core piece of what we’re doing and has been for six years now,” Stevens said, via Forsberg. “We’re excited to hopefully put our best foot forward to have him here for a long time.”