Southeast Notes: Magic, Nene, Heat

The Magic are unlikely to add a player with the No. 5 overall pick who can make an immediate impact, so any dramatic roster improvements will need to come via the free agent market, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Orlando would have about $14MM in available salary cap space if the team were to waive Ben Gordon and Luke Ridnour before their salaries for next season become guaranteed, Robbins adds.

Organizationally,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said, “we’ve always maintained the same approach, the same philosophy: when available, spending up to the tax level as it relates to free agency. Our ownership has given us the ability to do that again, and we’ll continue to do that in these upcoming free-agent years, this offseason and next year as well.

Here’s the latest out of the Southeast Division:

  • One of the Wizards‘ top priorities this offseason will be to add a stretch four, which would result in Nene playing more at center, something the player might not be too keen on, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes.
  • Wizards coach Randy Wittman indicated that Nene shifting to the reserve center role wouldn’t diminish his value to the team, Castillo adds. “As we saw down the stretch, he played some five, he and Marc in that situation,” Wittman said. “Him playing that position doesn’t make it a lesser role. We’ve got to look at what works best for who we have here. … With what John Wall does and the pace of play, we’ve got to play fast.
  • Heat president Pat Riley indicated that the team is looking for an all-around player who can score from the outside with the No. 10 overall pick in this June’s NBA Draft, Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald writes. “A lot of times you have a player or two players who are playmakers that are your best playmakers and your best scorers, but they might not have that kind of range or that kind of game, so you need to go out and get two or three of those kinds of players,” Riley said. “And so, while we felt we had enough maybe on the perimeter, that might be an area where we look, but I don’t want him to be a one-dimensional guy.
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