Southeast Rumors: Oden, Exum, Hawks, Neal

Heat center Greg Oden will play against the Blazers tonight for the first time in his career, which began when Portland made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2007. Still, there are few emotions involved, as Oden tells Chris Haynes of

“I think it’s been two years since I was there. Guys move on,” Oden said. “It’s a business like that. I’m happy those guys are still there and doing their thing. [I’m] especially happy for LaMarcus [Aldridge] who is an All-Star and you know, you got to move on.”

Here’s more from the Southeast Division, which is in line to send four teams to the playoffs:

  • The Magic are probably locked into the third-worst record in the league, as our Reverse Standings show. Even if they don’t have any lottery luck and fail to move up, they’re in fine shape, since they’re most interested in Dante Exum, according to Chad Ford of, who writes in his latest Insider-only “Tank Rank” column.
  • The Hawks have received NBA approval for their sale of minority shares of the team to five investors, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The additions bring the number of stakeholders to 12, including primary owner Bruce Levenson.
  • Since being traded to the Bobcats, guard Gary Neal has had a significant impact over the course of the last 12 games, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.  Charlotte was in desperate need of scoring and Neal has brought it.  The former Buck is averaging 12.5 points per contest, which would be a career high for a full season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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