Eastern Notes: Bulls, Celtics, Hawks, Raptors

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Bulls‘ four primary decision-makers aren’t necessarily on the same page when it comes to how to approach the Jimmy Butler situation. Per O’Connor, GM Gar Forman is “comfortable with the status quo,” and owner Jerry Reinsdorf and president Michael Reinsdorf prefer to hang onto Butler. However, vice president of basketball operations John Paxson “sees the writing on the wall,” per one executive, and would be more open to a rebuild.

As we wait to see which direction the Bulls opt for on Thursday, let’s check out a few more notes from around the Eastern Conference…

  • As we’ve heard all season, the Celtics remain reluctant to cash in their assets for anything short of a star player. If Boston doesn’t get an offer it likes, the team may be satisfied to hang onto both Nets picks and embark on “a longer-term (but potentially more lasting) build,” writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald.
  • After playing out two 10-day contracts with the Hawks, Lamar Patterson has returned to the D-League’s Reno Bighorns, tweets Chris Reichert of The Step Back. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Patterson won’t return to Atlanta or another NBA club at some point this season, but many free agents are in a holding pattern until after the trade deadline passes.
  • Speaking of those Hawks, head coach and president of basketball operations Mike Budenholzer says he wants to balance the club’s short- and long-term interests as Atlanta explores deadline deals, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Although Budenholzer says he’d be happy with his roster even if the team stands pat, Vivlamore hears that the Hawks have been “very active as buyers” as they explore possible moves.
  • Ryan Wolstat of the Postmedia Network poses – and attempts to answer – a handful of burning Raptors questions, including whether Masai Ujiri has another trade up his sleeve before Thursday’s deadline.
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