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Southeast Notes: Hardaway, Meeks, Mahinmi

Tim Hardaway Jr. has developed into a productive bench scorer in his second season in Atlanta, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Journal Constitution. Acquired in a controversial trade with the Knicks on draft day in 2015, Hardway was little used during his first few months with the Hawks. He had two stints in the D-League last December and played just 51 games with the NBA club. Hardaway has became a dangerous scorer, ranking fourth on the team at 12.8 points per night and producing four 20-point games already. “We feel good about identifying Timmy,” said Hawks GM Wes Wilcox. “We were fortunate that the opportunity came up. … You always hope trades make sense for everybody. That’s what you hope because you hope it’s good for the player and the teams that are involved. It’s hard to evaluate stuff, but I’m happy for Tim, and I’m certainly happy for the Hawks.”

There’s more this morning from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic shooting guard Jodie Meeks participated in full-contract drills Friday for the first time since foot surgery in July, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. “It was the second procedure on the right foot for Meeks, who played just three games for the Pistons last season and was traded to Orlando in June. “It’s just good to be back out there doing some activity,” Meeks said. “I felt pretty good moving, but obviously I’m a little rusty. So it’s going to take some time to get back. I don’t really have a time limit on when I’m going to be back — obviously, as soon as possible, but at the same time get in some better shape.”
  • Injured center Ian Mahinmi took part in the Wizards‘ shootaround Saturday and hopes to be ready to play by the end of November, reports Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. Mahinmi, who signed a four-year, $64MM deal over the summer, has been sidelined since having surgery Oct. 14 on a partially torn medial meniscus in his left knee. He was encouraged to be able to participate in Saturday’s session, which was his first on-court activity with teammates since the operation. “Obviously it’s not a live full-blown practice but it’s my first time being on the court with everybody. I went through every drill, no restriction,” Mahinmi said. “That’s the goal, to come back before the end of the month, and everything depends on how my knee reacts going into a full-blown practice.”
  • Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is trying calm fears about a possible move out of the Verizon Center, relays Scott Allen of The Washington Post. Earlier this month, Leonsis used the term “free agent” to describe his status when the building’s mortgage is paid off in seven years. But in a radio interview with WTOP, Leonsis confirmed his commitment to the area. “I apologize, I didn’t mean to scare anybody,” he said. “We love Washington, D.C., and we have a great, mutual respect for our city, and we have a 99-year lease on the land, and it’s been the greatest experience, so we’re very, very committed to Washington, D.C., and I’m grateful for the love that the fan base has shown us, and I hope to return that certainly for the rest of my lifetime.”

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