Southeast Notes: Wittman, Whiteside, McRoberts

The relationship between coach Randy Wittman and Wizards players isn’t what it used to be after in a season in which he’s endured criticism and public questioning of his authority, writes J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Marcin Gortat has simmered all year after Wittman criticized his lack of rebounding after a November game, and he and the coach went months without having a conversation to address the matter as Gortat chose to remain silent on the issue, Michael writes. The coach, who has only a partially guaranteed salary for next season, and the center had their ups and downs even before this season, as Michael points out.

See more from the Southeast Division:

  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines the improving offensive game of Hassan Whiteside, who’s No. 10 in our latest Free Agent Power Rankings. Whiteside has engendered himself to Heat brass as he’s given more deference to winning instead of statistics of late, as The Herald’s Ethan Skolnick examined this week, and he’s looking at ways to apply the influx of cash he’s expected to receive starting next season toward bettering his performance, as Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post relays. “It’ll help me do things to better myself and finally get to do some things I’ve wanted to do, different things like going to train at places I couldn’t afford,” Whiteside said. “I couldn’t afford them places. That’s why I was working out at the Y. I could get a nutritionist and a chef. I could get a massage therapist. Stuff I could use to better myself that are a little hard for me right now.”
  • Josh McRoberts will still have two years and more than $11.8MM left on his contract after this season, but Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel finds it tough to envision him remaining with the Heat for next year, given coach Erik Spoelstra‘s reluctance to use him.
  • Many have wondered whether the Tobias Harris trade signaled that coach Scott Skiles is usurping some of GM Rob Hennigan‘s influence within the Magic organization, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Decision-making power in Orlando looms large ahead of a summer that presents lots of key choices, as Bontemps examines.
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