Jimmy Butler misses practice, needs MRI

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Jimmy Butler – after suffering right toe injury in the third quarter of the Bulls’ win over the Bobcats on Monday, returning in the fourth quarter and then leaving again – pledged to be ready for Chicago’s next game. Via Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago:

“I hurt it. I don’t really know how. But it’s nothing major. I’ll be back. I’ve just got to ice it, rest it, all that stuff,” said Butler, who added that he’s “going to be good to go” for the Bulls’ upcoming “Circus Trip,” which begins Thursday in Denver. “I know what play it happened on. I just pushed off on it, I guess the wrong way, and it didn’t feel too good at all.”

It’s still possible Butler plays against the Nuggets, but he’s no longer cruising in that direction. Via Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago:

“He didn’t do anything [at practice],” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s going to have an MRI this afternoon.”

“I don’t know [about Butler’s availability],” he continued the coach, who noted that initial X-rays on Butler’s toe were negative. “I want to see what they [the Bulls’ medical staff] have to say after the MRI, so we’ll know more [Tuesday] afternoon.

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If Butler must miss time, Kirk Hinrich or Mike Dunleavy could start in his place at shooting guard.

Dunleavy is having a nice season so far, making 12-of-22 3-pointers. His size makes him more a traditional choice.

Hinrich and Derrick Rose might have a budding chemistry, though they haven’t been effective overall while playing together this season. Maybe Thibodeau wants to give those two a chance to develop chemistry.

If there’s a tiebreaker, it could be the Nuggets’ backcourt. Ty Lawson and Randy Foye are undersized and speedy, perhaps making Hinrich the preferred choice.

Jason Williams out 6-8 months after injury in Big3 debut

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NEW YORK (AP) — Former NBA point guard Jason Williams will miss six to eight months after suffering a knee injury in the opening game of the Big3.

Corey Maggette, also injured in the opening week of Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league of former NBA players, had surgery for a leg injury. There is no timetable for his return.

The injuries were announced Wednesday during a conference call with Cube and Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, who also detailed a couple rules changes starting with this weekend’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Games will be played to 50 points, instead of 60, with halftime coming when the first team reaches 25 points. Cube said that would help the four games per day move more quickly.

Report: Mutual interest between Knicks, Jeff Teague with Phil Jackson gone

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Phil Jackson’s exit is already opening doors for the Knicks.

No position differs more in the triangle from modern spread NBA offenses than point guard. But without Jackson demanding his point guard fit such a narrow profile, New York can pursue greater talents – like Jeff Teague.

Ian Begley of ESPN:

With Phil Jackson out and the triangle de-emphasized, the Knicks, under general manager Steve Mills, have interest in free agent point guard Jeff Teague, league sources told ESPN. League sources say the interest in Teague is mutual.

The Knicks aren’t as desperate at point guard after drafting Frank Ntilikina, but Ntilikina probably isn’t ready to run an offense full-time yet. Teague could be a stopgap – which might be necessary considering New York can’t easily pivot into rebuilding with Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee locked up.

Teague’s future with the Pacers appears uncertain with Paul George on the trade block. A key part of Larry Bird’s retooling last summer, Teague and Indiana might be headed in different directions now.

The Knicks make as much sense as anywhere for Teague – now that Jackson is gone.

PBT Extra: Rockets, with Chris Paul trade, show fearlessness in face of Warriors’ dominance

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The Rockets and Clippers both turned aggressive with today’s Chris Paul trade.

Houston is making a bold attempt to overtake the Warriors (a plan that could include other big moves). The Clippers are launching into rebuilding.

Kurt Helin breaks down what it means for both teams.

PBT Extra: With Phil Jackson discarded, Knicks face next challenge

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The Knicks did well to part ways with Phil Jackson, but where does New York go from here?

Masai Ujiri? David Griffin? Someone else?

Kurt Helin breaks down Jim Dolan’s options – and the approach the Knicks owner should take.