Power forward Jared Sullinger and point guard Delon Wright have both been cleared to practice, according to a tweet from the Raptors. Sullinger, who signed with Toronto over the summer, was hurt in the team’s first preseason game when his left foot was stepped on. He had surgery in October and was given a two- to three-month timetable to return. Wright has been out of action since August, when he had surgery to fix a labral tear in his right shoulder. The 20th pick in the 2015 draft, Wright spent much of his rookie season in the D-League and appeared in just 27 games for the Raptors.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Raptors president Masai Ujiri told SportsNet the team got “tons of calls” last week in the wake of the Kyle Korver deal between the Cavaliers and Hawks. Ujiri said teams were expecting a flood of trades after that one broke, but he plans to be cautious about making any moves. “There is a window with Kyle Lowry, DeMar [DeRozan] and DeMarre [Carroll] with those kind of guys in their prime and we will take advantage,” Ujiri said. “But we’re not making bad deals. It doesn’t help business, it doesn’t help your future. Trust me, if a deal is not made just know there was nothing on the table for us that would really enhance our team.”
- Raptors center Lucas Nogueira credits lifestyle changes for his breakthrough third season, writes Gregory Strong of The National Post. Nogueira has become a regular part of Toronto’s rotation after playing just 35 games combined in his first two NBA seasons. Motivated by the birth of a baby daughter, Nogueira is spending more time in the gym, going to bed earlier and giving up alcohol. “The sky is the limit for the kid because he’s got a lot of God-given talent,” said coach Dwane Casey. “He just needs to make sure he continues to work at it, to seriously approach his job in that way because he’s a great kid.”
- Al Horford‘s Celtics teammates are focused on giving the longtime Hawk a victory in his return to Atlanta tonight, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. Horford spent nine years with the Hawks before signing with Boston in July. “He’s level-headed no matter what,” said Isaiah Thomas. “He’s the calm one in this room. But at the same time you know those games are big. You think about it, you want to play well, you want to beat your former team. But that’s our job. We have to take care of business for him, make sure he plays well. And most important, get the win.”
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has improved under coach Kenny Atkinson’s system, but the Nets will still listen to offers for him, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The second-year small forward is averaging 7.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a part-time starter, but Brooklyn is concerned about his shot as he is hitting just 38% from the field.