Southeast Notes: Magic, Vucevic, Heat, Beasley

Worried about your team’s playoff hopes as we approach the quarter-mark of the season?  As Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel pointed out earlier this week, the 2010/11 Heat started out 9-8, leading some to wonder if the superstar packed club could succeed.  That Heat team found its way to the 2011 Finals and went on to win back-to-back titles.  Here’s a look at the Southeast Division..

  • As he plays out the third year of a four-year contract, the Magic are looking to determine Nikola Vucevic‘s value, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.  While the center was impressive in his first season with Orlando and has had strong flashes this season, he hasn’t taken a noticable step forward.  As it stands, the Magic are expected to retain Vucevic when he becomes a restricted free agent after the 2014/15 season.  A deal for Vucevic would probably fall in between the five-year, $60MM deal that Nikola Pekovic signed with the T’Wolves and Larry Sanders‘ four-year, $44MM contract with the Bucks.
  • In today’s mailbag, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes that offseason pickup Michael Beasley looks to have taken a huge leap in his first month in Miami.  The Heat are more than comfortable turning to the forward for offense, which isn’t something that most observers expected when they signed Beasley to a non-guaranteed pact.
  • Dwayne Wade says that the Heat are the deepest team he’s ever played on, writes Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report.  “No knock on any other team that I’ve ever played on, besides the Olympic team, this would probably be the deepest team that I’ve played on,Dwyane Wade said Friday night.

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