Atlantic Notes: Lowry, Raptors, Celtics, Thibodeau

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Don’t expect the Raptors to trade Kyle Lowry before the March 25 deadline, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca, who makes the case that the odds of a deal happening are “remote.” Grange covers some of the same ground that a Wednesday report from Sam Amick did, noting that the point guard’s $30.5MM salary limits the number of suitors who could realistically acquire him and give the Raptors the sort of turn they’d be looking for.

[RELATED: Kyle Lowry Addresses Trade Rumors]

As Grange observes, the Raptors would be more inclined to move Lowry if he wanted out, but despite rumors to the contrary, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Grange cites multiple league sources who say the six-time All-Star isn’t pushing for a deal, and agent Mark Bartelstein also confirmed as much.

“He has clearly not told anybody that he wants out of Toronto,” Bartelstein said of Lowry. “(Raptors president of basketball operations) Masai (Ujiri) and (GM) Bobby (Webster) and I talk all the time. You can never put anything in concrete in this business, things change, but there is literally nothing to all this chatter about Kyle wanting out or telling his team he wants to go there. That’s just not true.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Eric Koreen and Blake Murphy of The Athletic consider whether the Raptors should buy, sell, or hold steady at the upcoming trade deadline, suggesting the team is in position to seriously consider all three options.
  • Appearing this morning on Toucher & Rich on 98.5 WBZ-FM in Boston, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge once again said that his preference would be to use the team’s $28.5MM trade exception in the offseason, when the club will have more options (Twitter link via Sean Deveney of Heavy.com). That’s for sure. I’ve always felt that,” Ainge said. “We’re hard-capped (this season), using the full thing on one player would be less likely. It’s not impossible.”
  • During that same radio appearance, Ainge suggested that if the Celtics make a trade this month, they’d prefer to acquire a player under contract beyond this season, since rival suitors with cap room this summer could make it challenging to re-sign a free-agent-to-be (Twitter link via Keith Smith of RealGM).
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau talked to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com about the lessons he learned in his past jobs that he brought to New York. The conversation also touches on a handful of other topics, including what it means to Thibodeau to reunite with former Bulls star Derrick Rose.