Eastern Notes: Gooden, Casey, Bulls

February 26 at 11:54pm CDT By Cray Allred

Derrick Rose has begun running for the first time since tearing a meniscus earlier this year, according to a note from the Associated Press on NBA.com. Despite the good news, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau again reiterated that Rose will remain out for the rest of the season. Here’s more from the East:

  • Thibodeau says that it’s possible the Bulls could add a veteran from the buyout market, he tells Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago: “We could. I know [GM Gar Forman] and [executive VP] John [Paxson] are looking at the market and watching how it shapes up. Again, if something is a good fit for us and we think can help then we may take a shot at it.” 
  • Drew Gooden is ready to contribute in his second stint with the Wizards, he tells J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. “I’ve been spectating. I’m thirsty. I’m hungry. Definitely there’s a reset button that’s been hit.” Gooden is more enthusiastic about his time in Washington this time around than last, when the team struggled following the Gilbert Arenas locker-room gun incident. The Wizards appealed to him because of their commitment to winning. “When I first came in it seemed like the whole league was eager to win a championship. It wasn’t really realistic but they made those moves and those efforts to win. I see a handful of teams doing that now and I believe the Washington Wizards is one that wants to win. That’s why they added me for depth going into the playoffs.”
  • The Raptors have a looming decision on whether to sign breakout point guard Kyle Lowry to a lucrative deal when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the decisions don’t end there, writes Eric Koreen of The National Post. Coach Dwane Casey‘s contract also expires at the end of the year, and he has also performed above expectations in guiding the Raptors to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. GM Masai Ujiri isn’t one to reveal which way he’s leaning, but this doesn’t faze Casey. “I promise you, I don’t even think about that,” Casey said. “That’s one thing that I can’t control. The only thing I can control is preparing this team each and every game.”
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