Hawks power forward Mike Scott is facing felony drug charges following an arrest this morning, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Police say they found Scott and his brother in possession of marijuana and MDMA, aka ecstasy or Molly. Scott’s salary of more than $3.333MM is fully guaranteed for this season, with a similar figure non-guaranteed for 2016/17. Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:
- James Ennis feels confident that he’ll earn his way onto the Heat‘s regular season roster, agent Scott Nichols told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, explaining why he and the Heat decided to nix the clause in Ennis’ contract that would have triggered a 50% partial guarantee on his minimum salary if he remained on the team through Saturday. The move keeps the Heat from having to decide on a $422,530 chunk of salary this weekend, a prospect that may well have spurred the team to cut him, and it also moves up the date on which Ennis’ salary becomes fully guaranteed from December 1st to opening night, Jackson notes.
- Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel still doesn’t see Miami’s 2014 draft-night acquisition of Shabazz Napier as a mistake, even after the Heat traded Napier to the Magic following a so-so rookie year, as Winderman writes in his mailbag column. He heard from one scout that Napier nearly was one of the first 15 picks in the draft. This summer, the Heat had luxury tax concerns and better options at point guard, and that’s what led to the trade with Orlando, Winderman argues. That casts a different light on Napier than that from when an NBA GM told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that the Heat had simply concluded prior to the trade that the point guard “was not good enough”
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist leads a list of intriguing second-tier 2016 free agents that Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com compiles in an Insider-only piece. The elite defense of the 21-year-old Hornets small forward makes it such that he’ll be a valuable starter for years to come if he can merely become an average offensive player, Pelton argues.