The Wizards are enjoying great dividends from their investment in Paul Pierce, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Pierce, who hit a game-winning shot against the Hawks Saturday, came to Washington last summer after free agent Trevor Ariza left for Houston. Michael notes that the Wizards were able to sign Pierce for a little more than $5MM a year over two seasons, which was about half the money and half the commitment that Ariza wanted.
There’s more this morning from the Southeast Division:
- The Magic moved Dewayne Dedmon into their starting lineup March 4; now he hopes to stay there, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Dedmon quickly became a favorite of interim coach James Borrego with his shot blocking and high-intensity style of play. He is signed through next year, although the nearly $950K he is due to make is fully non-guaranteed if he is waived by August 1st.
- Consistency was the main thing Marvin Williams brought to the Hornets after signing as a free agent last summer, notes Matt Rochinski of hornets.com. Charlotte lured the North Carolina alum from the Jazz with a two-year deal worth $7MM each season. Through the first four months of the season, Williams averaged 6.7 points and 4.5 rebounds. From March 1 onward, he raised those numbers to 8.8 points and 6.7 boards. “I feel like I finished a lot stronger than I started,” he said. “Obviously with change, sometimes it takes a little while to get acclimated, but that’s an experience I had before in my career so it wasn’t terrible for me.”
- With their draft status uncertain, the Heat are turning their attention toward the annual Chicago pre-draft camp, which gets under way Tuesday, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami faces a 9% chance of losing its first-round pick, but that won’t be determined until the May 19th lottery. In the meantime, team president Pat Riley, GM Andy Elisburg and the scouting staff are going to get an up-close look at the top prospects, not just for the first round, but also for Miami’s second-round pick, which falls at number 40.