Southeast Notes: Batum, Kaminsky, Wizards, Heat

Hornets coach Steve Clifford wants to have more players involved in the offense this season, and he envisions trade acquisition Nicolas Batum as a facilitator for much of that in a manner similar to how the Magic used to run offense through Hedo Turkoglu, observes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

“He’s in a similar place to where Turkoglu was in Orlando as far as size and exceptional feel for the game,” Clifford said. “If he’s open, he shoots it. If he’s not, he’ll drive. He’s as instinctual as you can ask of a player, and you can’t coach that.” 

Clifford was an assistant coach during Turkoglu’s time in Orlando. See more on the Hornets and the rest of the Southeast Division:

  • Frank Kaminsky has more experience than most lottery picks, having gone to college for four years, but he’s having a rough adjustment to NBA competition during informal scrimmages so far, Clifford said, as Bonnell relays in the same piece“The kid has a chance to be really something as a player, [but] right now he’s a kid and they’re beating up on him [in scrimmages],” Clifford said. “They’re 28 or 29 and he’s 22.” Charlotte reportedly turned down an offer of four first-round picks to hold on to the ninth selection and draft Kaminsky this year.
  • The start of construction is set for next year on a new practice facility for the Wizards that is to open in the fall of 2018, the team announced. The Wizards hope it will help them attract free agents, including Kevin Durant when he’s on the market next summer, as Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post wrote earlier this week. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said the franchise wants to house a D-League team there, as Ohm Youngmisuk of notes.
  • The Heat should sign a veteran whom they could bank on rather than relying on a young player at the end of their bench, given their questionable depth, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

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