Veterans Al Horford and Paul Pierce made the key hoops for their respective teams Wednesday in Atlanta’s victory in Game 5 of the Hawks-Wizards series, one that serves as a de facto Southeast Division championship. Whichever team wins the series, which the Hawks lead 3-2, will make its first appearance in the conference finals in more than three decades and will perhaps be in a better position to attract stars via free agency. The Hawks have a much better chance to clear cap room this summer than the Wizards do, but both teams have plenty of flexibility for the summer of 2016, when Kevin Durant and others are set to come free. While we wait to see how that all plays out, here’s the latest from around the Southeast:
- The agent for Dwyane Wade wouldn’t say this week whether the Heat star would pick up his $16.125MM player option for next season, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. That adds to the confusion of conflicting reports about Wade’s plans for the option. Henry Thomas of the Creative Artists Agency represents Wade, as our Agency Database shows.
- Wizards draft-and-stash prospect Tomas Satoransky still dreams of playing in the NBA but intends to finish his contract with Barcelona of Spain, as he told Adriano Correal of Gigantes Del Basket (translation via HoopsHype). Barcelona’s deal runs through next year for the shooting guard whom Washington drafted 32nd overall in 2012, as Mark Porcaro shows in our Draft Rights Held Players Database.
- Mike Muscala played in only about half of Atlanta’s regular season games, but he’s been a part of the rotation for the Hawks in the playoffs and is drawing raves from his teammates, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution chronicles. Muscala’s minimum salary for next season is non-guaranteed.
- A lack of offensive development and a failure to convince either Jacque Vaughn or James Borrego that he deserved more playing time this season leave plenty of uncertainty about any future that Maurice Harkless has with the Magic, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel examines. Harkless is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason but seems unlikely to end up with one, as I speculated in a look at this year’s extension market.