Atlantic Notes: Brunson, Irving, Raptors

As the NBA continues its investigation into the timing of the Knicksplaymaker free agent acquisition Jalen Brunson, Fred Katz of The Athletic analyzes the existing evidence. Rumors ahead of 2022 free agency suggested Brunson would leave the Mavericks for the Knicks on a new four-year, $104 million deal. When that chatter turned out to be true, the league chose to look into exactly what happened and when.

Katz notes that it’s hard to discern what kind of pre-free agency conversations the NBA will disapprove of, in part considering the fact that Jalen’s father, a former New York point guard Rick Brunsonwas hired as an assistant coach under the Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau in June. Knicks team president Leon Roseonce an NBA agent representing Rick, has known the two Brunsons for decades.

Last year, the league chose to penalize the Bulls and Heat for what it perceived to be tampering violations in their 2021 signing and trade moves for Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively. Each team was forced to give up an upcoming second-round pick. This year, in addition to the Knicks, the NBA is also investigating the Sixers for possible tampering violations.

There is more from the Atlantic division:

  • When Nets leader Kyrie Irving Back in their native New Jersey for their “More Than A Run” pro-am all-star game at Kean University, Brooklyn was keen to showcase the moment on the team’s official social media platforms. In an effort to read the tea leaves, NJ.com’s Adam Zagoria suggests it’s looking increasingly possible that Irving will return to Brooklyn this fall, rather than be offloaded in a pre-season trade. Kyrie’s Teammates Kessler Edwards, David Duke Jr.and Royce O’Neale were all present at the New Jersey event.
  • heat point protector Kyle Lowryat some point during his successful run with the raptorstried to attract Vince Carter back in Toronto, Lowry revealed on Carter’s The Vince Carter Show podcast (Twitter video link via Canada uninterrupted). “I tried to bring Vince back with us at some point,” said Lowry. “We had conversations” Carter confirmed. “We tried to do it, it didn’t work” Lowry continued. “I was one of the biggest defenders who tried to get him back in Toronto and Vince was all in.” It’s unclear exactly when this recruitment took place, but it can be assumed that it happened quite late in Carter’s illustrious career. The Raptors originally drafted Carter with North Carolina’s fifth pick. The 6’6″ winger was named to his first five All-Star teams while with Toronto, before eventually being traded to the Nets in the midst of what was to be his sixth consecutive All-Star season in 2004/05. An eight-time All-Star overall, Carter would go on to play an NBA-record 22 seasons. He finally retired at age 43 in 2020, after a two-year stint as a bench player with the Hawks.
  • In case you missed it, 6’11” Serbian centre-forward Philip Petrusevwho was drafted with the No. 50 pick by the Sixers in 2021, expressed confidence in Philadelphia’s development plan for him. Petrusev, an ethnic Serbian, will play for Serbian club Crvena Zvezda in the 2022/23 season.

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