Jimmy Butler is keeping up his stellar play, and as he seems poised to cash in during restricted free agency in the summer ahead, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau made it clear on Monday that the team remains committed to keeping him, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com writes.
“I think all of us that have been around him know who Jimmy is and we all value who he is,” Thibodeau said. “Those are business decisions that he [and] his agent have to make. Our organization feels very strongly about him. We want him here for a long time so that’ll all take care of itself in the end.”
While we wait to see how it works out for Butler, who went from unranked to the No. 5 position in the latest Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings, here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- The offers the Kings made to the Pistons for Josh Smith weren’t as clear-cut as they’ve been reported, sources have told MLive’s David Mayo. Van Gundy blundered when he gave Smith too much responsibility in the team’s offense, opines Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, and that he didn’t alter that even as he was mulling the idea of waiving Smith throughout the month of December is even more perplexing, Mayo believes.
- Brandon Bass let it be known that he has no desire to follow Rajon Rondo out of Boston, saying he isn’t “into looking and searching for a team to go to win a championship,” observes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. Bass, on an expiring contract worth $6.9MM this season, nonetheless remains an intriguing trade chip for the Celtics if they wish to move him. His playing time has dipped significantly since the acquisition of Brandan Wright in the Rondo trade, notes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.
- Mike Woodson called his time coaching the Knicks a “wonderful experience” as he spoke Monday to reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post. Woodson, now a Clippers assistant coach, said he was intent on taking this season off until Doc Rivers, a friend, prevailed on him to join his staff, as Berman also notes.