Southeast Notes: LeBron, Magic, Hawks

LeBron James offered a rare glimpse into his long-term plans in an interview that aired on NBA TV Monday night. James can opt out of his deal this summer, and while he says that he can’t picture himself leaving the Heat, he’s putting off his decision until after the season, as The Associated Press notes.

“At this point, I can’t,” James said to interviewer Steve Smith“At this point, I can’t. We don’t know what can happen from now to July, so what I’ve been able to do this whole season to this point is just worry about what’s at hand and that’s winning another championship. And hopefully at the end of this year I can put myself in a position where I can hold that Larry O’Brien Trophy up once again and then I will assess what I have to do with my future after that.”

While we wait to see what the No. 1 free agent will do, here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Agents and executives around the league think the Magic have a strong chance to attract a second star via free agency if they could just find a first star, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe. The Magic are prepared to spend up to the tax line if need be and go into the tax when executives feel the team is “one piece away” from a title, CEO Alex Martins tells Lowe. Still, the club senses no urgency to make a push next season, Lowe writes, believing that the easiest way, by far, for the club to find that first star is through the draft. Lowe also notes that the Magic are more wary than most teams of taking on any players with character issues.
  • The Magic are unlikely to make a run at Lance Stephenson in the summer, as there’s fear around the league that he won’t be quite as team-oriented if he’s not around the strong structure of the Pacers, according to Lowe.
  • The Hawks are seeking a small forward, as Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes in a story on the Knicks’ pursuit of Jeff Teague, which appears to have cooled.
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