Southeast Notes: Waiters, Birch, Bembry

After months of lingering ankle issues, Heat guard Dion Waiters underwent successful surgery to repair instability in the area, including a pre-existing fracture, Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel writes.

The recovery process for the shooting guard is expected to take six to nine months, a timeline that could encroach upon Heat training camp next season. The ankle issues have bothered Waiters since the tail end of the 2016/17 campaign in which he earned his four-year, $52MM deal.

In 30 compromised games for the Heat this season, Waiters averaged 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • The Magic have experimented with undrafted rookie Khem Birch in their rotation and the results have been positive, John Denton of Orlando’s official team site writes. “He’s remarkably quick off the floor and he does surprise guys [with his shot-blocking abilities],” said coach Frank Vogel, “He continues to prove himself and we’ll continue to use him.
  • An adductor strain revealed in an MRI will sideline second-year Hawks forward DeAndre’ Bembry for one-to-three more weeks, the team announced in a press release. Bembry hasn’t seen action since December 22.
  • Despite his name coming up in trade rumors, Kent Bazemore is content playing through adversity with the Hawks, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. “I came here four years ago. We had some success right off the bat. I love what this organization has done, what this city has done for me and my family,” he said.
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