Mike Woodson says Knicks will ‘sit tight’ at trade deadline

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We’re seeing the list of teams that are coming out and saying they won’t be doing anything at the trade deadline grow longer by the minute, and with good reason.

The new tax structure in the recently negotiated collective bargaining agreement, which goes into full effect next season, is scaring teams from adding salary and going into luxury- or repeater-tax territory, even if a trade would help in terms of projected wins and losses.

The Knicks are among the teams well over the $58.044 million salary cap number the league put in place for 2012-13, and are already into luxury tax territory with their team payroll for this season coming in at over $80 million, well over the $70.307 million tax-paying threshold.

With all of that in mind, and with no blockbuster deal on the horizon that would be certain to improve the Knicks to the point of a guaranteed trip to the Finals, the comments from the team’s head coach on Wednesday regarding the possibility of a deal happening in advance of Thursday’s deadline were not surprising.

From Al Innazzone of Newsday:

Mike Woodson reiterated that he doesn’t expect the Knicks to make a trade before Thursday’s deadline and that Iman Shumpert would remain in New York.

“I think we’ll sit tight and try to make this final run with what we have,” Woodson said at Wednesday morning’s shootaround.

Of course, things can change between now and 3 p.m. Thursday.

Shumpert wasn’t fetching anywhere near what the Knicks were hoping for in return, so it makes sense to keep a solid perimeter defender who’s still on his rookie contract, rather than add veteran pieces that may or may not be long-term fits for what the team is trying to accomplish.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.