Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg saw the controversy that stemmed from Jimmy Butler‘s criticism of his coaching style as simply a phase of growth for their relationship, and the pair had a “strong” exit meeting, sources told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. The Bulls would insist on at least one marquee player, one rotation-caliber player and multiple first-round picks in any trade scenario involving Butler, according to Johnson, suggesting that the team’s appointment of the swingman as its representative at next week’s draft lottery is a sign that he’ll be sticking around.
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- Soon-to-be free agent Kent Bazemore said his body wasn’t 100% this year and that he couldn’t play above the rim as he’s usually capable of doing, but he’s eager to regain that ability with a full summer of training, observes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bazemore, who had a breakout season despite the limitations, wants to re-sign with the Hawks. “I would love to return here,” Bazemore said. “I think the past two years I’ve taken a tremendous leap. Not only my professional year but personally. I’m growing more into myself and figuring out life. This place [is] a special place in my heart. I grew up right up the street in North Carolina. Super close to home. Not close enough. Has its perks here. The weather is great. Golf is great. God is great.”
- Carmelo Anthony likes David Blatt, who’s drawing sincere consideration from the Knicks for their head coaching job, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. Anthony likes and respects interim coach Kurt Rambis, but he has reservations about him and believes the ex-Cavs coach would be better for Kristaps Porzingis than Rambis would be, Berman hears. Blatt interviewed last month with team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills, but owner James Dolan wasn’t in the meeting, a league source told Berman.
- The Knicks are looking to trade for a second-round pick, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). New York is without a pick in either round.