Eastern Notes: Pierce, Magic, Wizards

The Wizards are still unsure if Paul Pierce, who has a player option for 2015/16 worth $5,543,725, will play next season, but coach Randy Wittman doesn’t believe that he’ll need to try and sell the veteran forward on returning to Washington for another campaign, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes. “I don’t need to recruit Paul,” Wittman said. “What Paul saw here and what he did here, not only with the team but with the city, all of that plays into it. His family was comfortable here. Will I sit down and talk with him? Yeah. But I don’t think I need to recruit him.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • John Wall is one of the many people in D.C. who wants Pierce to return to the Wizards next season, Castillo adds. “Who wouldn’t want to have a Hall of Fame guy back on this team? He meant so much to us,” Wall said. “Just his leadership, his work ethic, being a mentor, talking to us, and giving us those words of encouragement and that extra grit and fight. He has to do what’s best for him and his family, and that’s taking time off and deciding whether he wants to come back and play. Like he said, it gets tougher and tougher each year, roll out of bed and being 37 years old, it’s tough for him. Everything he gave us this season was another big key why I wanted to come back and try to win and get to the next round.
  • Magic guard Victor Oladipo showed marked improvement in his second season in the NBA, and he is looking forward to who the team can add to its roster this offseason, Ken Hornack of FOX Sports Florida writes. But in the event the team stands pat in the free agent market, Oladipo still believes Orlando can improve upon its 25 wins this season, Hornack relays. “We might make some additions, and hopefully they’ll come in and help us,” Oladipo said. “But at the end of the day, I feel like the core group of guys we have here has just got to get better. If they do, if we do, I think we’ll be where we need to be. We’re going to push each other. It’s all about winning. Everybody has to get that mentality of doing whatever it takes to win. And if we lose, they’ve got to hate losing.

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