All five Southeast Division teams open preseason play tomorrow, with four of the teams squaring off against each other. The Wizards will play the Bobcats in Charlotte, while the defending champion Heat travel to take on the Hawks. The Magic will be in Mexico City to face the Hornets. That's a matchup of Mexican center Gustavo Ayon's current and former teams, and we heard last night that while Ayon is drawing interest from overseas, he'll remain with the Magic this season. Here's today's Southeast Division scuttlebutt:
- Arron Afflalo wasn't expecting a trade when the Nuggets shipped him to Orlando in the Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum mega-deal, but is looking forward to the chance to become the Magic's No. 1 option on offense, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer believes the Bobcats got a fair deal on their amnesty waiver claim of Brendan Haywood, who brings experience and a high basketball IQ to the center position in Charlotte. Haywood will make an average of $2.05MM over the next three seasons.
- Dwyane Wade was among the players featured in a video the NBA released to demonstrate what will draw fines under the new anti-flopping policy this year, but with no in-game penalties, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel thinks the Heat star shouldn't stop trying to fool the refs.