Eastern Notes: Butler, Rondo, Deng

All things being equal, the Bulls would prefer to reach an extension with Jimmy Butler rather than let him hit restricted free agency next summer, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes. Of course, finding an amenable price point is the challenge, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors examined as he wrote about Butler as an extension candidate.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Prior to breaking his hand, Rajon Rondo was the subject of trade talk around the league. While this latest setback certainly harms Rondo’s trade value, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com thinks there’s still time for it to be rebuilt and the Celtics to determine if they want to re-sign Rondo long-term or deal him.
  • During the Heat‘s media day Luol Deng spoke with Surya Fernandez of FoxSports.com. When asked about replacing LeBron James at small forward, Deng said, “I would never try to replace anybody, whether somebody is better than me or if I’m better than somebody. I think that we all bring different things. The biggest mistake I would make is to try to be LeBron. I’m not LeBron. My whole life — I’m 29 years old — I’ve never been able to be somebody I’m not. So I just got to be myself, work hard and try to do my best. My ultimate focus is what can I bring to this team and that’s it.”
  • Deng also was asked about Danny Ferry‘s comments and he said, “It’s been behind me, honestly. I think that it just came back to the surface (in Media Day) because it’s the first time I’m seeing everybody but honestly I think that after I made my statement it was over with. I can’t control what everyone thinks or how everyone feels. My position is I really forgive Danny Ferry and people make mistakes. I’m ready to move on. Whatever it is or whatever it came from, let’s just make sure it doesn’t happen again to someone else and make sure we just improve as human beings and how we view other people. That’s really about it.
  • After a breakthrough campaign last season the Wizards look to take the next step towards being a contender in the east. Adi Joseph of USA Today previews Washington’s 2014/15 season and projects they will snag the No. 3 playoff seed.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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