Southeast Notes: Heat, Wizards, Hornets

Former Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, in his first extensive interview since the trade that sent him to the Grizzlies, told to shed salary.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Gary Neal, whom the Wizards signed to a one-year deal in July, has filled the role of capable bench scorer, which is what Washington hoped for in inking the veteran point guard, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post writes. Neal’s contract, which is worth $2.1MM, fit into both the Wizards’ short-term plans and long-term flexibility, Castillo adds. The move has paid off with Neal averaging 10.6 points per game.
  • After being traded to the Hornets from the Blazers, Nicolas Batum is playing the best basketball of his career, Jimmy Toscano of details. Batum’s all-around game has been so strong this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens thinks the small forward has a good shot to make the All-Star team, as Toscano adds.
  • Speaking of Batum, taking chances on him, Jeremy Lamb and Spencer Hawes — who were each at uncertain points of their respective careers — in trades during the summer has made the Hornets dramatically better offensively, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer explains. In obtaining the players, the Hornets added size and versatility, Bonnell adds. “We made a concerted effort to improve offensively, improve our versatility and find more skilled players,” Hornets GM Rich Cho said. “I knew Nic from [working in] Portland; we knew Spencer had tremendous basketball IQ and could shoot the ball and spread the floor. Jeremy was someone we pursued for a long time. We liked him in college and saw him play a lot of games in the NBA and the D-League.”
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3 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Heat, Wizards, Hornets

  1. Chris Crouse

    I didn’t expect Charlotte to get out to a good start, but they look like a playoff team and Batum looks like a player who will get the max this offseason.

    • Z.....

      I thought losing MKG would hurt them. Still, I knew they would be greatly improved. I think losing Al Jefferson for a while has actually helped them. Their offense was going to be better, but now their defense isn’t hurt as much from losing MKG, and the floor is more open. As you likely recall, I’ve lauded both Batum and Lamb as very good moves, and guys that weren’t used to their capabilities, either b/c of others on their team, or in Lamb’s case, sometimes not even playing

  2. Z.....

    Rio was moved b/c the Heat felt that he deserves to play, but they know that Tyler johnson and Josh Richardson would have to play over him in Miami. Happy for Rio. Hope to see the crowd give him a great ovation tonight for all that he did in his 7+ years here. He will always be part of the Miami Heat family and Heat Nation


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