Southeast Notes: Whiteside, Thornton, Wizards

The dollars are flying this summer for the league’s top free agents — especially free agent big men —  but Heat center Hassan Whiteside says that he’s not concerning himself with all of that right now, Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post writes. Whiteside, who just experienced a breakout season, will hit free agency next summer. As Lieser points out, Whiteside has never earned more than $1MM in a season and will make $981,348 this upcoming season.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Marcus Thornton is part of a small group of shooters — and one that has shrunk because of recent reported signings — that Miami is interested in, a Heat official told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Thornton, according to Jackson, is a realistic target. There are other guards on the free agent market that would be bench upgrades, but they are more likely to command more than the minimum, and Miami hasn’t decided if it will pay more than that, Jackson adds.
  • The Wizards were probably out on Rodney Stuckey after agreeing to sign Gary Neal, J. Michael of tweets.  On Sunday, Stuckey agreed to stay in Indiana on a three-year, $21MM deal.
  • Drew Gooden appears to be most likely of the Wizards‘ unrestricted free agents to return, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke with  J. Michael of  Gooden is one of four UFAs for Washington, including Rasual Butler, Kevin Seraphin, and Will Bynum.  With Paul Pierce out of the picture, Gooden is an affordable and logical choice to help fill that void at the stretch four.

Will Joseph contributed to this post.

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