Although he acknowledges that posturing goes on at this time of year, and that one blockbuster offer could change everything, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter links) says the Bulls are telling teams that Jimmy Butler isn’t available. While Chicago is open to listening to calls on Butler, the club is rebuffing all offers and isn’t actively shopping its star forward, says Johnson. The report is in line with what we heard on Monday from Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times, who said that Butler’s camp has a growing belief that the Bulls’ All-Star won’t be moved.
Here are a few more items of interest from around the Eastern Conference, with the NBA’s trade deadline just two days away:
- Jake Fischer of SI.com passes along a number of notable updates in his league-wide look at the trade landscape. Among Fischer’s notes? Before they acquired Serge Ibaka, the Raptors made a play for Pistons center Andre Drummond with a package centered around Jonas Valanciunas. Additionally, Fischer reports that the Sixers have no interest in moving T.J. McConnell.
- It doesn’t appear that the Magic and Pistons have any traction on a Reggie Jackson swap at this point, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Kyler notes that things could change by Thursday, but the latest round of Jackson rumors had the Pistons in talks with the Timberwolves and Knicks. While they’re not on the verge of anything with Jackson, the Magic are on the lookout for a point guard upgrade, Kyler tweets, adding that Suns guard Brandon Knight is on Orlando’s radar to a lesser extent.
- The Celtics have identified a “small group of role players” that would interest them, including P.J. Tucker, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. However, the club has no plans to give up a first-round pick for a modest piece like Tucker, a source tells Himmelsbach. The Globe reporter adds that Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor isn’t presently on Boston’s radar, though ESPN’s Marc Stein said in a recent radio appearance that the C’s hadn’t entirely closed the door on that possibility.
- Beat reporters in Boston haven’t suggested that the Celtics are close to any deal, but Isaiah Thomas put fans on high alert with a tweet on Monday night. As Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com notes, the last time Thomas sent the eyes-wide-open emoji in a tweet, it happened right before the C’s agreed to sign Al Horford.