Eastern Notes: Heat, Nelson, Sixers

February 16 at 12:16pm CST By Eddie Scarito

This Thursday’s trade deadline is an important date for many teams in the league. The right moves can not only help a franchise in their quest to make the playoffs this season, but also influence what a team can do in the off-season personnel wise. But it’s nine days later that is a potentially even more significant date for the Heat, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. March 1st is the date that players have to be waived by in order to be eligible for another team’s playoff roster, a date informally known as the buyout deadline. Winderman believes that since the Heat don’t have much to offer other teams in potential deals, the team will be more active in looking to pick up a player who has been waived, similar to them picking up Chris Andersen last year. Winderman also opines that any deadline moves the Heat might make would be salary dumps with avoiding luxury tax penalties in mind. Potential waiver candidates to keep an eye on are Caron Butler, Keith Bogans, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, and Chris Kaman, according to the article.

More from the east:

  • Despite the team being in re-building mode, veteran guard Jameer Nelson remains committed to the team, and wants to be a member of the Magic for his entire career, writes Jared Zwerling of The Bleacher Report. Nelson, who is a free-agent after the season says his first choice is to re-sign with Orlando.
  • The Sixers‘ focus leading up to the trade deadline is to acquire as many draft picks as they can, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The franchise wants to move Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young for future compensation, but that’s not a given, since the team has been impressed with how the trio have developed this season. With the most cap space in the league, Pompey says that the Sixers would consider adding an expiring contract from a team looking to dump salary, but that would only be if a draft pick was included. The holdup is that the team wants first-rounders, preferably lottery picks, which teams are reluctant to part with. According to the article, the Sixers should be one of the most active teams this week, but will probably have to wait until the final hours before the deadline to accomplish anything.
  • Knicks fans are already talking about the summer of 2015 and the team’s potential free agent targets. One of those mentioned was LaMarcus Aldridge, but he might not be a fit if the team holds onto Carmelo Anthony, tweets Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Anthony and the Knicks have been much more effective when ‘Melo is at power forward, which would make the pairing difficult. Anthony could switch back to small forward, but he has expressed that his preference is to stay at the four.
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