Eastern Notes: Sullinger, Thornton, Moore

Jared Sullinger is in line to become a restricted free agent this offseason provided the Celtics submit a qualifying offer worth $4,433,683, but the big man would prefer to remain in Boston for the long-term instead of heading elsewhere, Mike Petraglia of WEEI 93.7FM writes. “Most definitely. Most definitely. My oldest brother always told me that the worst thing to happen to me sometimes is change and that I don’t handle change well. I strongly disagree,” Sullinger said, responding to a question regarding his desire to remain in Boston. “Sometimes, you just don’t want to change the scenery. When you play for the greatest franchise in the NBA and you see all those banners and all the fans come at you, you don’t want to leave that place because you know it’s a special place in your heart. It’s the first team I played for in the NBA and hopefully it’ll be the last.”

The power forward has enjoyed flying under the radar this season thanks to the attention All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas has received, Petraglia adds. “It’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of fun. Growing up, I wasn’t really a high-profile guy,” Sullinger relayed. “Going into middle school, especially entering high school, and I kind of came out of nowhere and came into my own. My main thing was just to win. When they see you win, they see all the big-time games. That’s what I was told, especially in the AAU. Playing in the AAU, the more you win, the more you play against high-profile that get to this level, and the more you get exposure. The more you win, it just takes care of itself. As long as you focus on winning, the outcome is always greater.”

Here’s the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • Despite Marcus Thornton being part of the nixed trade for Donatas Motiejunas, the Pistons likely won’t have any interest in signing him now that the Rockets have waived him, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press notes (on Twitter). According to Ellis, Thornton was just “trade filler” and Detroit had no plans to use him in the rotation.
  • The Hawks were extremely interested in signing center Anderson Varejao after the Blazers waived him, but the veteran chose to head west and join the Warriors instead, Vivlamore tweets.
  • After languishing on Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg‘s bench early in the season, E’Twaun Moore has flourished since being moved into a starter’s role, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes. “I’ve always been confident,” Moore said. “I know I’m capable of playing well. It’s not really a surprise. And I don’t think it’s a surprise to my teammates either. They see how hard I work and they’ve got faith in me. It’s no big deal to me.

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