Perhaps ending speculation that the Knicks are close to acquiring Denver’s Earl Watson, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Gary Washburn reports the following ;

The three players rumored to be ex-Sonics by noon today did not play in Seattle’s 114-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Reggie Evans, Vitaly Potapenko and Flip Murray sat at the end of the bench at Philips Arena and watched as their more secure teammates snapped a seven-game road losing streak and allowed some hope to breeze into the locker room.

But the Sonics could be a dramatically different team by this time today as club officials are close to a deal that would bring former Sonic Earl Watson (above) back to Seattle for Potapenko and Murray, according to two NBA sources. Evans could be involved in another deal.

Watson, 26, signed a five-year, $29 million deal to be the Nuggets’ reserve point guard but has been displaced by sparkplug Earl Boykins. Watson has been expendable since the Nuggets have sought rebounders and a legitimate shooting guard.

Murray and Evans would have to approve any deal, but Evans has already requested a trade.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Brian Schmitz writes the Magic are considering offer the perpetually injured Grant Hill a buyout. Hill is owed $16.9 million next season, funds Orlando would no doubt prefer to stockpile when making a run at next summer’s free agent class (set to include Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Vince Carter and Paul Pierce, amongst others).