Atlantic Notes: Knicks, VanVleet, Celtics, Anunoby, Raptors

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Veteran point guard Fred VanVleet is among the free agents who will receive interest from the Knicks this offseason, says Ian Begley of SNY.tv, confirming previous reports. While New York has its eye on VanVleet though, Begley disputes a rumor suggesting that the club already has an offer prepared for him.

As Begley explains, the Knicks are likely preparing for dozens of different scenarios involving free agency, the draft, and possible trades. In some of those scenarios, VanVleet figures to be among the team’s top targets. However, in others, a pursuit of the Toronto guard is far less likely — for instance, Begley doesn’t think New York would go after VanVleet if the team trades for Chris Paul or selects one of the top point guards in the draft.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Bench shooting and veteran leadership figure to be priorities for the Celtics as they weigh roster moves this offseason, says Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Forsberg is also skeptical that the team will keep and use all three of its first-round picks next month after carrying seven rookies on its 17-man roster in 2019/20.
  • Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri has a history of being aggressive when it comes to locking up players to early extensions, but two factors will be working against extension-eligible forward OG Anunoby this offseason, according to Eric Koreen and Blake Murphy of The Athletic. As Koreen and Murphy observe, low-usage players like Anunoby don’t often sign rookie scale extensions, and a new deal would compromise Toronto’s cap flexibility in 2021.
  • The possibility of an Anunoby extension is one of a handful of interesting subplots for the Raptors this fall, according to Danny Leroux of The Athletic, who previews what he refers to as a “truly landmark offseason” for the franchise.