Several Heat players had their minds on the future after today’s Game 7 loss at Toronto. The overall feeling is that most players want to return next season and they hope free agent center Hassan Whiteside is with them, tweets Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. One exception could be Amar’e Stoudemire, who was unhappy with his playing time after signing a one-year deal with Miami as a free agent last summer (Twitter link). However, Stoudemire also felt the Heat had “great chemistry” and said, “I enjoyed the guys and I had the best time of my life with my teammates this season.” (Twitter link). Veteran Udonis Haslem, who has been with Miami for his entire 13-year career, understands he may have to find a new team to stay in the league next season. “There’s a business side to everything, so you never know,” Haslem said (Twitter link). Joe Johnson, who will be a free agent after joining the Heat in late February, said it’s too early to think about his next move (Twitter link). Chris Bosh, Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts are the only Miami players with guaranteed deals for next season.
There’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- The Knicks are hoping to hire a coach in the next week or so, writes Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal. Frank Vogel, who met with team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills Wednesday in Los Angeles, is apparently a finalist for the job, along with David Blatt and interim coach Kurt Rambis. Vogel reportedly spent much of his interview making the case that the understands the triangle and would incorporate it into his offense.
- The Bucks will interview Utah executive Justin Zanik and former Charlotte GM Rod Higgins for an open front office position, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Milwaukee is looking for someone to work with GM John Hammond (Twitter link).
- New Wizards coach Scott Brooks traveled to Orlando this week for a meeting with Marcin Gortat, according to Keely Diven of CSNMidAtlantic. Brooks is hoping to establish a better relationship with his starting center than former coach Randy Wittman, who feuded publicly with Gortat.
- Kelly Olynyk will have to undergo surgery soon on his injured right shoulder in order to be ready for the start of next season, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. Olynyk has been hoping he can help the Canadian national team qualify for the Summer Olympics, but with a five-month projected recovery time, he is already likely to miss at least some of the Celtics‘ training camp.