The defending champion Heat have been in the news a lot over the summer, and today is no exception, as the agent for former Celtics guard Keyon Dooling denied a report that his client is reconsidering his decision to retire and wants to play with Miami. If that report were true, and Dooling wound up joining the Heat, it's safe to say the Boston-Miami rivalry would become the league's most intense, if it isn't already at that point. Ira Winderman points out that Udonis Haslem has already reached out to new teammate Ray Allen to smooth over any hard feelings that might have been lingering from Allen's time with the Celtics (Sulia link). While the Heat might look out of the Southeast Division for their chief rivalry, the rest of the division's teams would probably like nothing more than to score at least one win against the Heat this year. Here's the latest from the Southeast.
- Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida says he's received an email from Dooling that seconds his agent's denial of the report that he might come back (Sulia link). "No truth!'' Dooling wrote. "I will never play NBA ball again.''
- Amidst notes on the Raptors, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reveals that the Magic interviewed former Toronto head man Butch Carter for the coaching job that wound up going to Jacque Vaughn.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, in the same report that links Dooling to the Heat, says some of the Magic's veterans, principally Al Harrington, will be on the trading block. He says the team will likely try to move Harrington at the deadline for an expiring contract, draft picks or both as it continues its rebuild.
- GM Rob Hennigan has also been retooling the Magic basketball operations department, as Schmitz writes in the same piece, having hired 23 new employees.
- HoopsWorld writers preview the Hawks, and while they conclude the team figures to be the second best in the division, Atlanta will remain in transition as GM Danny Ferry plots how to manage the financial flexibility he obtained this summer.