Southeast Notes: Magic, Hawks, Cobbs

It was an active year for extensions around the league as a whole, but the only two Eastern Conference players to sign rookie scale extensions in October reside in the Southeast Division, where Nikola Vucevic and Kemba Walker each wound up with four-year, $48MM deals. The Cavs were active, too, but their extension with Kyrie Irving happened back in July and the Anderson Varejao extension isn’t of the rookie scale variety. Time will tell if Vucevic and Walker prove wise investments for a pair of clubs that had the NBA’s worst records just two seasons ago, but in the meantime, here’s more news from around the Southeast Division.

  • The passage of the extension deadline left the Magic with some cap flexibility for next summer after they failed to reach a deal with Tobias Harris, but the free agent market doesn’t give them much chance to capitalize on it, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel examines.
  • Hawks executive and prospective owner Dominique Wilkins doesn’t believe the team’s racism scandal will affect its ability to attract top free agent stars, as he tells USA Today correspondent Ray Glier. “I don’t buy that,” Wilkins said. “Do they want to come in with the negativity? Of course not. But this is a great town to live in. This franchise has been to the playoffs seven straight years. This is a healing process. If it’s genuine, guys will come.”
  • Hornets training camp invitee Justin Cobbs is headed to play for Latvia’s VEF Riga, the team announced (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Cobbs spent camp with both the Hornets and Spain’s Laboral Kuxta in an unusual arrangement, but he failed to earn a spot with either club.

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