Southeast Notes: Wizards, Stephenson, Harkless

Despite having a roster spot open, the Wizards aren’t anticipating a move, according to J. Michael of Washington hasn’t filled the opening it created by waiving Glen Rice two months ago, and the Wizards don’t seem intrigued by any of the available options. Today is the last day players can hit waivers and still be eligible for the playoffs with another team, although that deadline applies only to players who have appeared in the NBA this season. “Nobody is going to be added to the team. That’s the reality of it,” coach Randy Wittman said earlier this week.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Despite a post-All Star Game slump, the Wizards aren’t considering a coaching change, Michael writes in a  separate story. Before Saturday’s win over the Pistons, Washington had dropped 11 of 13 games, causing some to question Wittman’s future with the team. Michael reports that Wittman still has the support of star player John Wall and there are no indications that he has “lost the locker room.”
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford blames unreasonable expectations for Lance Stephenson‘s early struggles in Charlotte, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer“A lot of this is totally off base among basketball people,” Clifford said of the hype that accompanied Stephenson. “He’s 23 years old. He’d played for one coach in one offense.” Many thought Stephenson would be the missing piece for the Hornets after signing as a free agent during the summer. Instead he has struggled to find his shot, connecting on just 36.6 percent from the field this season and 15.1 percent from 3-point range.
  • St. John’s basketball coach Steve Lavin said an extra year in college would have helped the Magic’s Maurice Harkless improve his draft status, tweets Josh Newman of Asbury Park Press. Lavin said NBA general managers told him that Harkless could have been a top three choice in the 2013 draft. Instead, he left St. John’s in 2012 and was selected 15th.

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