Ray Allen: I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game. I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself. The hell you experience when you get off that bus will be temporary. Basketball will take you far away from that school yard. You will become far more than just a basketball player. You’ll get to act in movies. You’ll travel the world. You will become a husband, and the father of five amazing children.
February 19, 2017 | 3:37 pm EST Update
They can do that without Butler, instead trying to make a minor move for a contributor like Suns forward P.J. Tucker. Boston has expressed deep interest in Tucker ahead of the deadline, a source said. Get Tucker, and the Celtics can add depth without giving up on a potential No. 1 pick. And there is cap space available this summer to sign a player in free agency. Without trading for Butler, Boston could keep the pick and get a name player this summer.
There have been tepid discussions about Butler-to-the-Celtics at various times over the past year, though nothing pressing in recent weeks, according to league sources. It’s safe to assume that there will be renewed talks this week. But that does not mean a deal will get done, not with both sides tentative about the wisdom of a trade that the rest of the NBA’s observer class seems to think is such an obvious fit.
League sources told SN this weekend that the Bulls are still very much uncertain of the direction they want to take this season. Rebuilding makes the most sense — the decision to sign veterans Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade last summer was a mistake — but the Bulls are still very much in position to make the playoffs in the East.
David Aldridge: The 76ers pulled Jahlil Okafor from their lineup last week b/c a deal w/Portland for the center was close to happening, per league sources.
For all of the significant growth that Dion Waiters has made – he has been very good over his last 13 games – a scout cautioned against any grand conclusions. “I need to see more,” one scout said. “He’s a streaky player, and there’s a track record of him being up and down. He is certainly capable of this, but can he sustain it? I would be surprised based on his first four years. Look at the shooting percentages over the years [41.2 career]. That suggests this won’t continue at this efficiency. Why all of a sudden has he become consistently productive scorer/shooter?