Eastern Notes: Bulls, Butler, Jack, Wizards

Bulls general manager Gar Forman denies that the team made an effort to trade shooting guard Jimmy Butler, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com“We like Jimmy Butler,” the GM said. “We didn’t shop Jimmy Butler.” Forman admits that teams called to inquire about Butler’s availability, but says Chicago “never made a single call” and called some of the trade speculation “comical,” prompting Friedell to observe that he can’t recall ever seeing the GM publicly deny a trade rumor so forcefully. Still, Forman did acknowledge that the Bulls liked Kris Dunn and had talks about acquiring him, per K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).

Here are several more post-draft updates from out of the Eastern Conference:

  • Asked tonight about Jarrett Jack‘s $6.3MM team option, Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team is still undecided on it, per Andy Vasquez of The Record (via Twitter). Brooklyn has until next Thursday to make its decision on the veteran point guard.
  • The Wizards had some interest in buying a pick in the second round of the draft, but by the time it reached that point, the players they would have been targeting were off the board, per GM Ernie Grunfeld (Twitter link via J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com).
  • Three players who slid down the draft board had a chance to be selected much earlier, tweets ESPN’s Chad Ford. According to Ford, the Raptors gave serious consideration to Kentucky center Skal Labissiere at No. 9, and the Bucks talked about Michigan State big man Deyonta Davis and Washington point guard Dejounte Murray with the 10th pick. Of course, Toronto couldn’t have been overly high on Labissiere, considering the club passed on him again at No. 27.
  • The Hawks added a pair of wing players in the first round of Thursday’s draft, grabbing Taurean Prince at No. 12 and DeAndre’ Bembry at No. 21. Nonetheless, free-agent-to-be Kent Bazemore continues to be a priority, according to Hawks GM Wes Wilcox, who said after the draft that Bazemore “is a huge part of what we do.” Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the details and the quotes from Wilcox.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

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6 thoughts on “Eastern Notes: Bulls, Butler, Jack, Wizards

  1. cubsfan2489

    Garpax is comical. They absolutely received calls, and even made calls about Jimmy! Thibs probably told them no Wiggins, and they backed off. Boston, well, who knows what they told them. This front office doesn’t have the balls to make a blockbuster. As long as there is Jerry and Jerry’s kids in the front office, the Bulls AND Sox are doomed!

    • Steve in Chicago

      Uh they just traded a former MVP and franchise cornerstone. I think they grew one anyway if not a pair.

    • JT19

      “They absolutely received calls, and even made calls about Jimmy!” So you must have access to their front office right? They obviously received calls, they obviously talked with teams about what it would take to acquire Butler, but it doesn’t mean they’re actively looking to trade Butler. And its not that the front office doesn’t have the balls to make a blockbuster, other teams are most likely not offering enough. I mean the T-Wolves aren’t going to offer Wiggins or Towns, so would you really be content with a deal that involves Dunn and probably some sort of combination of Dieng/Rubio/LaVine/Muhammed? I mean the Bulls aren’t going to get a Steph Curry/LeBron James/Kevin Durant-caliber player in a deal, its going to be a bunch of young guys with potential but even then, its not going to be a team’s top one or two young guys.

  2. rickcwik

    I kind of agree with you both. They grew one ball. But either keep them both or deal them both. Look where these half butt measures have the White Sox. Always around .500. Do one or other but not this halfway crap again. With Butler they will once again wind up as last lottery team. Cant win picking 14th every year.

    • SilvioDante

      You’re absolutely right, in one regard – you probably can’t “win” picking 14th every year. But I’d add that you might be able to land a really good player at 14 once in awhile, and from the looks of it, the Bulls did that last night. Denzel Valentine looks like a pretty nice addition/fit to the roster.

      You know, I always shake my head when reading and hearing on talk radio how stupid Gar/Pax are and that they don’t know what they’re doing. They all complain about firing Thibs and they make terrible picks, ect, ect. What they always seem to forget is Gar/Pax are the guys who HIRED THE GREAT THIBS! They’re the ones who gave him his first chance to head a team.

      They’re the ones who also drafted Deng, Noah, Rose, Gibson, Butler at No. 30! They’re the ones who also trade/drafted Asik, Mirotic, and signed Korver. Did they miss w Snell and Teague? Hell yes, they did. But what other GM/VP has hit on all picks? Nobody! Same w hiring coaches, but no team has ever been perfect, even the GSW.

      The Thibs got fired for a number of reasons that none of us “fans” will ever know. What I do know as fact is that towards the end the players were tuning him out. What I do know as fact was that during the offseason/summer, Noah, Rose, Deng, Butler, Gasol, HINRICH stayed far away from the Berto Center and in the final year, the Advocate Center, because they didn’t want to run into Thibs because he’d make their time in the gym a miserable experience.

      Thibs worked his ass off – no doubt. He knows basketball inside and out. But his personality is not one of a pleasant person. Put yourself in the players shoes here. If your boss makes you feel uneasy and/or frustrates you when you’re around him, when you have the opportunity to be away from that guy, wouldn’t you take it? That’s what happened. After 4 going into 5 years, the players grew tired of being mentally beaten up and hearing his voice ringing in their ears. If the players aren’t listening or responding to the coach, you have to make a change, and a change was made.

      So let’s stop calling Gar/Pax a pair of dopes and see what happens. Let’s see how long he lasts and how successful Thibs will be in Minny before we make room in the HOF, ok?

  3. JT19

    I mean it is real possibility that Gar/Pax didn’t actually shop Butler. A good/smart GM will always listen on trade offers. Doesn’t mean they want to trade their guy but you always listen because of what another team offers.


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