The Hawks aren’t quite sure what went wrong in the conference finals, where the Cavs dismantled them in four games, but coach and acting GM Mike Budenholzer tells Grantland’s Zach Lowe that he wants continuity to be a major part of the team’s improvement. Atlanta is apparently sold on its chances to re-sign Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll, but Lowe isn’t so sure the Hawks can afford them both. “You can bet” that Atlanta’s front office would consider a sign-and-trade deal involving Millsap and fellow free agent Greg Monroe, Lowe writes, adding that rival executives get the sense that Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy is eager to climb up the standings next season. Shams Charania of RealGM reported back in December that Atlanta planned to pursue Monroe. There’s more on the Hawks amid the latest from the Southeast Division:
- Lowe, in the same piece, identifies Gary Neal as a “name to watch” for the Hawks in the event the team goes under the cap and has the $2.814MM room exception to spend, though that’s likely just an educated guess. Neal, who finished up the season with the Timberwolves, used to play under Budenholzer, then a Spurs assistant coach, in San Antonio.
- Small forwards Justise Winslow from Duke and Stanley Johnson from Arizona as well as former Washington center Robert Upshaw were among the players the Heat interviewed at the combine this month, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel notes. Heat personnel were also in attendance at an agent-run workout involving Johnson and Kansas small forward Kelly Oubre, while Florida big man Chris Walker and shooting guard Michael Frazier are expected to work out later for Miami, Winderman adds.
- Florida Gulf Coast point guard Brett Comer worked out with the Heat earlier this week, as he told Seth Soffian of The News-Press.
- The Magic reportedly expect to hire Scott Skiles, but Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel believes a relatively unappealing Magic roster and Tom Thibodeau‘s failure to get along with Bulls management make it tough to envision Thibs in Orlando even if Skiles doesn’t end up in the job.