Atlantic Notes: Butler, Russell, Raptors, Wanamaker

Sixers coach Brett Brown is defending Jimmy Butler, saying he wasn’t disrespectful when he questioned the way he’s being used in the offense, according to an Associated Press story. ESPN reported Friday that Butler has “aggressively challenged” Brown since being acquired from the Timberwolves in November and has “tenuous” chemistry with fellow stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Meeting with reporters before tonight’s game, Brown tried to calm the situation.

“I didn’t feel like any of that crossed the line,” he said of Butler’s comments. “He’s vocal. He’s all in and he has opinions, but it’s instigated by me. None of this should surprise anybody. He’s got opinions. He wants to be heard. And he should be heard.”

Butler missed the game with a respiratory infection and wasn’t available for comment. He reportedly wants to be utilized more often in pick-and-roll situations, which aren’t a standard part of Brown’s offense.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell has improved significantly during his second season in Brooklyn, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Russell, who is averaging career highs with 18.2 points and 6.4 assists per game, is headed for restricted free agency this summer but indicated a desire to stay with the Nets. “We’re winning,” he said. “I haven’t won a lot in this league, so for me to get that type of success, I’m going to stick with it.”
  • As Kyle Lowry missed his sixth straight game tonight with back trouble, the Raptors are looking for another playmaker before next month’s trade deadline, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He states the best target would be the Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague, who isn’t being shopped but has become more expendable with productive seasons from Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones. Other possibilities include the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea or Devin Harris and the Hawks’ Jeremy Lin.
  • Brad Wanamaker was as surprised as anyone when Celtics coach Brad Stevens told him to check in during the first quarter last night, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. It was the 15th game of the season for the 29-year-old rookie, but most of his time has come late in games that were already decided. He responded with a pair of 3-pointers to help Boston build a lead. “The key word is challenging,” Wanamaker said. “I’m just trying to stay mentally prepared. I’m getting a lot of feedback from my family, friends, just saying, ‘Stay ready.’”
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19 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Butler, Russell, Raptors, Wanamaker

  1. tsc32

    Jimmy Butler needs to get over himself. He causes conflict everywhere he goes. Eventually no one is going to want him no matter how good he is.

  2. jeb39999

    Someone will always want him if he can play this is the nba after all personalities like his are tolerated all the time so long as the team is winning. I think a less talented team might be a better fit for Butler than Philly simply because he would be able to take as many shots as he wants without taking away from another established star.

  3. Richard Hangslow

    I don’t know who to believe. The media lies 99.9% of the time. I lead toward Butler.

    • Jason Lancaster

      The media lies about the story you believe, that the media just told you?

      How is that 99.9% of the time?

    • Djones246890

      Don’t believe Butler. He’s pulled this stuff on every team he has been on. Trust me, this won’t end well.

  4. bush1

    Coaching Butler has to be terrible, regardless of his playing skills. Dude just got there and already making the coach his bi*ch.

  5. Djones246890

    Butler starting to stir the pot. Lol. What a surprise. Don’t say I didn’t warn you guys — check my posts from a month or so back.

    It’s the same ol’ song and dance with this kid. He’s egotistical to the bone. He absolutely cannot play well with others, and always need to be “the man.” He has pulled this on EVERY SINGLE TEAM he has been on.

    It starts off great….he says he’s fine being a role player, and not “the man,” and then he starts questioning coaches and players. And, then it breaks down.

    This won’t end well. Believe me. I’m a Bulls fan and I’ve watched him pull this over-and-over.

    • x%sure

      Since a month ago? Maybe since I started here, a year and a half ago.
      Yeah, Butler is a ‘challenger’ for sure.

  6. ppyxmb

    Im sick of discussing Butler’s shenanigans, so here‘s a proposal for the raptors:

    JJ Barea and Maxi Kleber for CJ Miles and the Toronto’s unprotected 1st in 2019. that’d be a huge win for them, both in terms of efficient playmaking as backup for lowry and a defensive minded stretch4 in Maxi (whom they control as a RFA) as well as reducing luxury tax for this season and freeing up capspace in the summer. not sure if Dallas let’s those two leave for a – probably late – first rounder though…

  7. greg1

    ppyxmb, Raptors 2019 1st went to San Antonio in the Leonard deal. Also, your deal doesn’t work cap wise, and the Mavs are trying to keep as much cap space available for this offseason, adding an underperforming CJ cuts into that.

    I am not sure I understand why the Raps feel they need another playmaker, unless they’re concerned about Lowry’s health longer term. Fred is putting up 4.4 APG with a 3.7 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Kawhi is averaging his second highest APG as well. If anything, maybe a smaller deal for MCW, a passer/defender with minimal scoring skill. Maybe a Richardson and a future protected second for him?

  8. biggtank2

    Y’all get sucked in so easily this happens on every team with every star player… Jordan, Lebron , Iverson, Kobe etc etc

  9. bennyg

    Trade Buttler to the Cavs for Love.
    Philly suits Loves style of play better, gives more outside options plus that 3rd star – who benefits from NOT being the main focal point and in return, allows Buttler to be #1 again, and can play as much PnR with TT as he wants

      • x%sure

        I like it. I think Butler will sign with the most money offered– whoever has him & his bird rights last!

        Love might settle Simmons down, and Sexton might fire up Fultz. But I would like Oconnell more

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