Southeast Notes: Oden, Nelson, Heat, Harrington

In an incredibly weak Eastern Conference, the Southeast Division practically qualifies as a powerhouse. Led by the 14-3 Heat, the Southeast is the only Eastern division above .500 as a whole — its five teams have combined for a 46-43 record so far. Three Southeast clubs will look to improve on that mark tonight, as the Heat host the Pistons, while the Magic play in Philadelphia and the Bobcats visit Dallas.

Here’s more from around the division:

  • The Heat‘s signing of Greg Oden this summer received plenty of attention, but the former first overall pick is coming along slowly, according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. Amico hears from several sources that Miami doesn’t plan to integrate Oden into the rotation until around the All-Star break, and even then, he’ll likely only play about 8-10 minutes per game.
  • Within the same piece, Amico asked an NBA executive for five players he thinks will be traded this season, and the Magic‘s Jameer Nelson was among the players mentioned by the exec.
  • Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld wonders if the Heat‘s Big Three could become a Big Four next summer, when LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade are all eligible for free agency. Kyler’s scenario would involve all three players opting out and taking significant pay cuts, and would mean purging the rest of the roster to create room for a fourth impact player, so it sounds like a real long shot.
  • While Al Harrington has been sidelined recently by a sore knee, he tells Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that he likes being a Wizard, and is trying to forget his stint with the Magic. Harrington came to Orlando as part of the four-team Dwight Howard blockbuster, but missed most of last season and was waived in the summer, before signing with Washington.

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