Dwyane Wade, who’s poised for free agency in the summer, has been in closer communication than ever with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra this year, as Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald details. “I really care about Dwyane,” Spoelstra said. “When you work with somebody that long, you get to see somebody grow, from a young man as a professional, and then as a father. There’s been so much time, he’s seen me grow as a professional, and I’ve seen him grow in all those areas. And it’s just kind of fun. And this year, I’ve just tried to enjoy the relationship, enjoy this journey together, to be pushing and driving in the same direction in a way that’s not quite as player-coach.”
Here’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Jeremy Lamb‘s role with the Hornets has decreased significantly since the beginning of the season and his future in Charlotte is up in the air despite having three years remaining on his deal, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes. The 23-year-old made 66 appearances for the Hornets this season and averaged 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.6 minutes per outing. Lamb is scheduled to earn $6,511,628 in 2016/17.
- Given that their 2016 first-round selection is likely to fall outside the top 10, the Magic should strongly consider trading the pick for a player who can contribute immediately, opines Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders. With this year’s draft extremely top-heavy in terms of depth, adding another player who’s years away from contributing makes little sense for Orlando, Taylor adds.
- Hornets swingman Nicolas Batum will miss the remainder of the team’s first round series against the Heat with an ankle injury, tweets Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group. Batum’s X-rays showed no fracture in his injured ankle, Haynes adds. See more about Batum’s impending free agency here.
- The Hawks have recalled center Edy Tavares and swingman Lamar Patterson from the Austin Spurs of the NBA D-League, the team announced via press release.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.