Southeast Notes: Wall, Magic, Batum, Hornets

John Wall was feeling like his old self again before the NBA’s hiatus forced him to curtail his workouts, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. The five-time All-Star, who has missed the entire season after a ruptured Achilles and surgery to remove a bone spur, was playing three-on-three games with teammates during the Wizards‘ last road trip before the shutdown.

“I was out there dunking, crossing over, getting to the rim, doing stuff I was doing before. And I was like, damn, I still got, like, 15 pounds to get off of before I start playing next season. And I’m like, OK, I got six or seven months to get better,” Wall said. “So, I was gonna do nothing but get stronger, get more rhythm, get more in sync with everything.”

Wall has a gym in his Miami home, but he has been limited to half-court workouts with no competition. He won’t take the court when Washington resumes the season in Orlando, but said the discomfort he used to feel every day is gone. The focus all year has been getting ready for next season.

“When I get back to getting on the court when things open up, I’m not rushing anything,” Wall said. “I’m easing my way into it, because I know I can’t just jump back out there. That’s how you end up getting yourself hurt. … It’s gonna take me time to be patient with it. It’s frustrating because you already got a rhythm. You already was like — I was having fun. I was in a rhythm, having fun. It was just dope to be hooping.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • A pair of games with the Nets will go a long way toward determining whether the Magic can overtake Brooklyn for the seventh seed and avoid a daunting first-round match-up with Milwaukee, observes Josh Robbins of The Athletic“I think what’s going to help us the most is just being in better shape than the guys we’re going to play against,” Evan Fournier said. “I think that’s what it’s going to come down to. How fast can you get in shape? And how fast can you get together as a team? That’s what’s going to make the difference.”
  • The Hornets will be one of the few teams with cap space this offseason, but GM Mitch Kupchak doesn’t plan to make a major move in free agency until next year, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. That means Nicolas Batum will likely finish out his contract in Charlotte unless Kupchak can find a way to trade him without taking back any future guaranteed money.
  • Even though Devonte’ Graham had a breakthrough season and Terry Rozier is under contract for two more years, the Hornets won’t hesitate to take another point guard in a draft that is loaded with them, Bonnell adds in the same piece.
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14 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Wall, Magic, Batum, Hornets

  1. Sillivan

    Cupchak is basically saying Hornets are not going to do whatever it takes to win

    6th team in the East is tanking?

    This is the reason Knicks can’t rely on draft picks to become a top ten team in the nba

    • x%sure

      Kupchak waits for a better 2021 while youth matures.

      Does not matter & cannot tell, if talent is lacking.

      The conclusion does not appear connected to points raised.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      No one outside the top 4 teams in the east has any chance. The Sixers went 10-24 on the road before the stoppage, there’s no reason to think they will be any better in Orlando. You can pretty much pencil in the Bucks, Celtics, Heat, and Raptors in the 2nd round.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      They’re not tanking. They’re taking a realistic approach to building a solid contender. You ride out another year of Batum, take his money off the books, and collect 2 more high picks. Chasing a pretty good, but not great, type of player now, what, takes them up just enough to land them squarely in the middle of the pack, with no cap room to improve?

      They’re not trading away what they have though, which would be tanking- to me, anyway.

  2. Ialreadyhadsteveijustupdatedmypicbeenheresince08gimmemynameback

    Man without basketball all this content just feels so empty.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Knicks get a top 3 pick. They won’t take PG. Probably pursue Rozier-Randle trade again.

  4. Skip, Tampa

    Mitch should move Rozier and Graham for 2-1st and young players.
    Use the 3 2020 1st time move up for Edwards.
    Bulls don’t seem happy with White and are looking for a PG. Be a great move for Hornets to pull off.
    Rozier for White ???

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      As a Charlotte fan, I’d be mad if they did that deal. Trading Rozier, that’s cool. I do NOT want to see them deal Graham, though. He’s the exact type of player the team needs.

      I’m not that high on Edwards, anyway. This draft isn’t worth moving up in.

    • wagner13

      Why would the Bulls trade at least three years of cheap control over the seventh overall pick for two years of an expensive Rozier contract? How does this move the needle for them?

    • Magic 24/7

      I think the Magic would be interested in Rozier and be willing to give up their 2020 1st #15.

      Next season they will already have another rookie needing minutes (Chuma Okeke). Its unlikely that they want to add yet another rookie to an already young roster.

      A package built around their 2020 1st (#15) is a realistic scenario.

      They won’t give up key rotation (Vucevic, Ross, Fournier, Gordon) or core youth (Isaac, Fultz, Bamba, Okeke) as that would disrupt the balance they’re aiming for (developing youth in a playoff/winning context).

      A feasible trade from Magic POV for Rozier would look like this:

      • 2020 # 15

      • 2020 #45

      • Al-Farouq Aminu (29) rotation level 3-D forward making MLE $ next two seasons, 2nd yr is player option.

      • Khem Birch (27) back up tier C owed $3m next season. Quality defender (rim/perimeter) / limited offense with no reliable post game or shot outside of 10′, only rim runner/put backs.

      • Melvyn Frazier (23) 3-D type SG/SF who’s been mostly in G-League due to Magic depth and playoff goal. Has 1 season left at $1.7m, becomes restricted free agent next summer.

      link to tradenba.com

      • x%sure

        Charlotte would benefit, if only because Birch & Aminu are due comeback years. Birch had a quickness advantage at center, maybe that’s gone now. Even if Aminu has declined, he could keep their young forwards well-challenged instead of relying on them challenging each other.

        And Rozier could keep Fultz challenged too, more than Augustin hanging on. But he’s not a good shooter, so not a complement. I think Orlando does not need to give up a first. Jordan made a mistake, would be happy to move Rozier.

        • Magic 24/7

          Rozier is a pretty good 3pt shooter, specially in catch and shoot 3PA’s:

          17-18: .381 3P% on 5.0 3PAg / .403 C&S 3P%
          18-19: .353 3P% on 4.3 3PAg / .371 C&S 3P%
          19-20: .407 3P% on 6.7 3PAg / .457 C&S 3P%

          …unfortunately he’s inefficient everywhere else.

          I like him and Ross coming off the bench. They’d give the second unit a pretty solid 1-2 scoring punch.

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