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Southeast Notes: Hawks, Heat, Pierce

The Hawks are optimistic about their chances to bounce back next season despite the sting of having been eliminated from the playoffs by Miami, Paul Newberry of The Associated Press writes. ”It’s clear that we have some work to do as a team,” center Al Horford said. ”We will all learn from this process and I know it will make us a better team. We have a group that’s resilient. We have a group with a lot of high-character guys, guys that I’m willing to go to war with any day.”

If Atlanta decides not to reinstate GM Danny Ferry, coach Mike Budenholzer could take on an expanded role in player personnel matters, likely assisted by assistant GM Wes Wilcox, in an arrangement similar to the one in San Antonio between coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford, Newberry adds. Budenholzer would like the team to add a rim-protecting big man to the mix for next season after being pushed around on the inside during the playoffs, the AP scribe notes.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat held workouts on Tuesday for Rondae-Hollis Jefferson, Rashad Vaughn, Charles Jackson, and Mouhammadou Jaiteh, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports. The team was especially impressed with Vaughn’s showing, Jackson tweets.
  • Working out today for the Heat was potential lottery pick Sam Dekker, tweets Jeff Goodman of The former Wisconsin forward is who Miami is projected to select in Hoops Rumors’ most recent mock draft.
  • Paul Pierce had as much of an impact on the Wizards‘ locker room culture as he did with his production on the court, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post writes in his season review for the veteran. Pierce has a player option for 2015/16 worth $5,543,725, though it’s unclear if he’ll retire, or possibly look to join the Clippers and his former coach Doc Rivers.

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