Southeast Notes: Carroll, Wittman, Walker

Soon-to-be free agent DeMarre Carroll has benefited from Atlanta’s focus on player development and from playing almost exclusively at small forward, SB Nation’s Paul Flannery details. Some numbers suggest that Carroll, who’s exceeded the team’s expectations on his two-year deal, has been the most important player for the Hawks in their series against the Nets, Flannery points out.

“Player development is big in this league,” Carroll said. “When coaches take time to work kids on their player development, they can succeed. It’s about opportunity and player development. That’s what I believe.” 

Atlanta will have Carroll’s Early Bird rights this summer, as we explained. Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Randy Wittman‘s job has never been in jeopardy this season, even when the Wizards lost back-to-back games to the Timberwolves and Sixers, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com, and the Wizards coach looked shrewd in the team’s sweep of the Raptors, as Michael details. Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote shortly after those losses that while Wittman’s job wasn’t in immediate danger, there was increasing pressure on him and others within the organization.
  • Henry Walker faces a stiff challenge to remain with the Heat into next season on his non-guaranteed deal, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he was an obvious choice when the team sought a midseason addition this year, as Surya Fernandez of Fox Sports Florida relays.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel believes the Heat should avoid their pattern of reuniting with their former players when it comes to Dorell Wright, who will become a free agent when his contract with the Blazers expires at the end of June.

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