Hassan Whiteside is set to become a free agent this summer and he conceded he factors that in a bit when determining whether or not to play through certain injuries, Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post details in a Q&A with the Heat center. When asked if he weighs his upcoming free agency into his decision-making regarding the fine line between resting and playing through injuries, Whiteside told Lieser, “It has something to do with it, but I’m not really thinking about that too much. I’m just trying to think of now.” Whiteside is battling tendinitis in his right knee, but he has missed only two of the Heat’s 40 games this season.
Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:
- Speaking of Whiteside, who is one of the league’s top big men, the 26-year-old said he will be looking to sign with a team that will give him the best opportunity to secure a championship, Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders relays. “I want to go to a team that’s about winning,” Whiteside said. “[A team] that has a good understanding of what it takes to win and a good city with a good fan base.”
- Cody Zeller, on whom the Hornets exercised their 2016/17 rookie scale team option in November, has a decent shot to secure the role of Charlotte’s center of the future, Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer opines. Zeller is thriving as the team’s center because of his unusual quickness at the position, Fowler writes. Adding to the idea that Zeller will be the team’s center for the long haul, Fowler surmises that Al Jefferson, who is out with a knee injury and is set to be a free agent this summer, likely won’t be back with the team next season.
- There will be shortage of teams to compete with for the services of Al Horford, a 2016 free agent, but the Hawks remain as good a bet as any to re-sign him because of their solid management structure and recent success, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders writes.