New Hawks point guard Jarrett Jack hopes to begin non-contact work in practice next week, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta is being careful with Jack, who is still recovering after tearing ligaments in his right knee in January. “I can tell you my knee feels 100 times better this month than it did last month,” Jack said. “Coach and [the staff] are on me about rushing to get back. They tell me to take my time. They’d rather have me for the longer stretch of the season than just this early part. I’m going to take it day by day. Patience isn’t something I was blessed with, so I’m going to do my best until the time is right to step back on the court.”
There’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- Magic center Bismack Biyombo understands that big money makes players targets for criticism, especially when they aren’t starting, relays Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel. Biyombo’s outstanding performance in last season’s playoffs earned him a $17MM raise, as he signed a four-year, $72MM deal with Orlando. The contract tied him with Evan Fournier as the highest-paid player on the team, but it didn’t make him the starting center. That role is still held by Nikola Vucevic. “People say things, say I can’t do this, do that … but all that matters to me is winning,” Biyombo said. “I’m really not going to care. I’m playing for my teammates. I love the game. I don’t take a day off. I don’t miss games. If I give 150 percent, I can go home happy.”
- Miami’s Goran Dragic clarified some remarks Friday, saying he didn’t intend to convey unhappiness with the Heat, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. In an interview last week with TNT’s David Aldridge, Dragic admitted that the loss of Dwyane Wade to free agency and Chris Bosh to health problems have put the current Miami team in a much different position than he expected when he re-signed last summer. “He asked me that question,” Dragic explained. “Didn’t I sign to be part of a great team, championship team? I said, ‘Yeah, of course.’ Then I said sometimes your career, this is business, you cannot have every decision go the way you want it on your own. This is a team decision. Sometimes you need to do two steps back to go one step forward. I’m happy to be here. This is the team that I want to be here. But I understand this is business.”
- John Wall‘s recovery from offseason knee surgery has made Casper Ware a long shot to make the Wizards, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. In a column assessing the chances of each free agent to make Washington’s roster, Michael notes that the offseason additions of Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky also hurt Ware’s chances.