Southeast Notes: LeBron, Heat, Cole, Beal

Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss confirmed earlier this week that the Lakers are indeed looking to make a major splash in the free agent market in 2014.  That's the summer in which Kobe Bryant's deal expires and a certain Heat superstar also hits the open market.  Here's more on the next summer of LeBron and other notes out of the Southeast Division..

  • It's not surprising to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel that the Lakers are allowing the current narrative of LeBron James leaving for Los Angeles to stay alive.  The buzz can only enhance the odds of getting Dwight Howard to re-up and is essentially a tamper-proof way of both seducing LeBron and securing Dwight. 
  • Offseason pickups such as Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis may wind up squeezing Norris Cole out of the rotation, Winderman writes.  Cole had flashes of brilliance for Miami in his rookie season before hitting the rookie wall.
  • Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal looks to be an impact rookie, writes Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld.  The 19-year-old obviously has high expectations as the third-overall pick but he is already displaying the poise of a much older player.

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