The Heat are focused on landing a big-name free agent in 2016 when the team will have up to $50MM in cap space, but Dwyane Wade told Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald he isn’t fully on board with that strategy. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen in 2016; 2016, to me, is so far away and I hope people aren’t waiting on it thinking we’re going to land this quote, unquote Big Fish because it might not happen for you,” Wade said. “No one knows if [team president Pat] Riley is going to wait until 2016. It’s all speculation.” Wade, who will become a free agent in 2016, took an $11MM pay cut last summer to create cap room, signing a deal worth $31MM for this season and next.
There’s other news from the Southeast Division:
- The Magic can solve a lot of their problems by making Nikola Vucevic the focus of their offense, opines Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Schmitz offers several suggestions for the struggling franchise, but the main one involves getting more shots for Vucevic, who agreed to a four-year, $53MM extension with the team last October.
- Former Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer has used San Antonio’s blueprint to build a winner with the Hawks, observes Jim Cavan of Bleacher Report. Cavan notes that Budenholzer has brought unselfishness and efficiency to a franchise long known for its isolation philosophy. He also credits the front office for getting the right players into the right roles. “I think that we have a system established here and we have a group of guys that understand the concept of teamwork and doing things as a team,” Al Horford said. “When you have a group of guys like that, it makes everything easier.”
- After two games out of the rotation, Wizards forward Otto Porter returned to his regular role in Saturday’s loss to the Spurs, reports Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. Porter briefly lost time to Martell Webster, who returned to action recently after missing the season’s first 30 games rehabbing from back surgery. “I think Martell had a couple opportunities and he didn’t do well,” said John Wall, “and Otto came in and stayed ready. You never know what night your name is going to be called and I think with this team our guys are ready.” Porter is still on his rookie contract and is under the Wizards’ control through 2016/17.