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Eastern Conference

Knicks president Steve Mills Says Kristaps Porzingis Not Unhappy

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There had been some speculation that New York Knicks superstar Kristaps Porzingis may have been unhappy about not signing a rookie scale contract extension with the team this offseason, but team president Steve Mills is shooting down any rumors of unhappiness.

“We believe it was the smart move, but primarily because over the summer, GM Scott [Perry] and I sat down with KP’s brother [Janis Porzingis] and talked about the different options that we have in front of us as it related to his extension” Mills said, during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show,via Ian Begley of ESPN.com.

“We were clear that the best option to make the Knicks a better team long term and have a better group of guys that KP can grow with long term was to not do the extension at this point. We think it ended up in a situation that’s best for the long-term view of the Knicks which ultimately will be the best in the long term view for KP because he’ll have a better team that he’ll be part of.

“We’ve been very straightforward in our communication with KP’s brother, who is his agent. KP has a long history with us. One thing about my relationship with KP is that when he is unhappy about something or disappointed about something he’s been very forthright in coming to me and saying, ‘Steve you know what? I’m not happy about this.’ And throughout this whole process he’s been very excited about David Fizdale as the coach, he’s been very excited about the players, the young players that we have. So I think we’re in a good place.”

Eastern Conference

Wizards ‘Giving Impression’ John Wall, Bradley Beal Available in Trade

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The Washington Wizards may be ready to open up shop and trade guard John Wall or Bradley Beal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Per the report, the longtime untouchable pieces of the Wizards’ core are now not so unobtainable as Washington has struggled to a dismal 5-11 record this season and with play on the court looking listless.

Washington has tried shopping Otto Porter and/or Kelly Oubre in hopes of bringing in a 3rd star to team with Beal and Wall, but have been unable to find any takers, leading them to consider dealing the two superstars.

Washington’s preference remains to reshape the team around Wall and Beal but the play has paralyzed their efforts in acquiring stars such as Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, per league sources.

Beal, who is younger than Wall, will likely be the more attractive trade piece, even financially. Wall’s contract extension starts in 2019-20 and will average $42 million annually for four years, and is considered to be a favorite among ownership.

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Eastern Conference

Knicks’ Trey Burke Says Team Like Navy SEALS

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New York Knicks point guard Trey Burke compared his team to the Navy SEALS for the way they put their lives on the line when they take the court. While the comparison may seem ridiculous, Burke elaborated.

“It’s a whole level of focus we have to have,’’ Trey Burke said, according to the New York Post’s Marc Berman. “Take the me out of it and it’s we. It’s like Navy SEALs. There’s lives on the line. I know it’s not life and death, but in this league it kind of is. You want to win games. We got to learn to value it. We value just being in the games with these playoff teams. ‘We’re in the game.’ It’s not what it’s about.’

Burke knows that he has to be ready when he is called upon.

When my number’s called, I can’t be something I’m not,’’ Burke said. “I have to be the guard that I am. Coach [David Fizdale] told me to attack. That’s what I’m going to do. I can’t try to please being someone I’m not. That’s what I did earlier in the season. For this team to win, I have to be the Trey Burke everyone knows I can be.”

Burke had to work hard to get back to the NBA, with a strong performance in the G-League earning him a spot on the Knicks roster. While Burke struggled this season, he has started to showcase the ability he had when he lit up the G League last year.

“[I was] being conservative, letting the game come to me,’’ Burke said. “Not attacking immediately. Naturally I’m a scoring point guard. When I attack it’s not always for me to score, it creates for others to. I wasn’t doing that.

“Earlier in the season, I was settling too much for jump shots. Having time to reflect how I was effective last season and different spurts throughout my career, I was always in attack mode and having fun and getting in the paint.

“We didn’t win but it’s a game I can build on,’’ Burke said.

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Detroit Pistons

Pistons’ Reggie Jackson Says Teams Takes Andre Drummond for Granted

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Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is heaping praise on his teammate, big man Andre Drummond, who he feels that the team often times takes for granted.

“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t [take Drummond for granted],” Jackson said, according to Vince Ellis of Detroit Free Press. “I think a lot of times we rely on him heavily for rebounds. On some nights when we get outrebounded, we’re solely looking for him to do it and not necessarily always helping him.”

“When you get a guy who over the last few years get around 14, 15 (rebounds per game), unfortunately it’s hard not to take him for granted, but we definitely appreciate him being the best (rebounder).”

Drummond is having a solid season, posting 18.9 points, 16.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

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