Atlantic Notes: Butler, Wright, Thomas

Lost in the headlines coming out of Atlanta are rumors that the Bulls may look to shop Jimmy Butler. Such an idea isn’t particularly new – the All-Star was said to be on the block during the 2016 NBA Draft – but the impact of such a deal would be significant. Two Atlantic Division teams, the Celtics and Sixers, have been linked to the Bulls swingman and may or may not be in the mix of clubs looking to attain him.

While Keith Pompey of The Inquirer thinks that Butler would be a good fit with the Sixers alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet speculates that the Celtics may not have enough to get a deal done. The C’s have been said to be seeking a star, but Blakely suggests that Chicago will be looking for a “major haul” that Boston wouldn’t be able to meet.

Over the course of the next few weeks, teams will continue to inquire about the Bulls All-Star as he averages 25.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Butler is owed $17.6MM this season and is signed through 2020.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Out of action since Summer League, Delon Wright is creeping ever closer to making his return to action for the Raptors. Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News writes that the sophomore guard will begin playing 3-on-3 next week for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery. Sorensen writes that Wright may not see action until “possibly next month.”
  • The Raptors and Celtics already had a tough road ahead of them in the Eastern Conference, but Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver writes that the recent acquisition of Kyle Korver could spur them to be bolder as the trade deadline approaches.
  • We wrote about Isaiah Thomas‘ emergence as a star earlier this week, but Comcast SportsNet has recently put together five reasons why the point guard should be considered a max contract player. The Celtics could soon renegotiate the contract that he first signed with the Suns in 2014.
  • The D-League affiliate of the Nets has acquired the rights to recently waived R.J. Hunter, the team writes in a press release. Hunter had previously played for the Bulls, though only saw action in three games this season.
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