Eastern Notes: Webster, Heat, McDaniels

Martell Webster doesn’t envision himself playing basketball for much longer thanks to chronic back pain, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes. Webster is still in the process of rehabbing from his third back surgery in four years, and says he’ll most likely retire when his contract with the Wizards runs out in 2017. “I’ve always wanted to retire young,” Webster said. “I love this game and I respect this game, but I only want to be in it as long as I can be effective and as long as I can feel comfortable.”

Here’s the latest happenings in the Eastern Conference:

  •  Heat coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t necessarily looking for his new players to replace the departed LeBron James, Ray Allen, and James Jones, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. “Number one,” Spoelstra said, “we have to look at this team differently. It’s in a different lens. So we might not have to fill in the same boxes that we’ve had in the past. I think that might be a dangerous way to look at it. It’s open to where to this group can go. We felt, secondly, that we have enough shooting, and we’re encouraged by the guys that, one, either have a resume for it, or, two, have really been working on it.
  • The Hornets and Hawks might live to regret only inking Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap respectively, to shorter deals than they could have, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders opines. While he believes the idea of short-term deals is a sound one, Jefferson is all but assured to exercise his player option next summer, and both are expected to test out the free agent market. Both franchises will face competition to re-sign their players, and the new deals might prove more costly than if both players had simply been signed to longer deals in the first place.
  • Kyler also weighed in on K.J. McDaniels‘ deal with the Sixers. According to Kyler, McDaniels did the smart thing in rejecting Philly’s original four-year offer with very little in guaranteed money. McDaniels has an excellent chance at seeing significant playing time this season, and could easily parlay a decent season into a three or four year deal worth $4MM or $5MM, which would in essence double what the Sixers offered him, notes Kyler. By signing a one-year arrangement McDaniels will become a restricted free agent at season’s end.

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