Southeast Notes: Hornets, Heat, Goodwin, Magic

The Hornets hold the No. 3 pick in Wednesday’s NBA draft, an event that’s becoming increasingly important for the franchise, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes.

Depending on whether they keep their pick and who gets drafted before No. 3, the Hornets will have the ability to draft Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman or LaMelo Ball — all of which are recognized as intriguing options to lead the franchise forward.

“You know, we’re not good enough right now to win a bunch of games, to get into the playoffs and to advance,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said, explaining the importance of drafting wisely for the future.

Charlotte plans to draft the best player available regardless of position, according to Kupchak. The team finished with a 23-42 record last season and is also said to have interest in trading for disgruntled Rockets star Russell Westbrook.

“We are going to have to draft for the best player that we feel could be a 10- to 12-year starter,” Kupchak proclaimed.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division today:

  • With the hopes of signing Giannis Antetokounmpo next offseason potentially starting to fade, the Heat could benefit from pivoting their attention to Danilo Gallinari, Bryan Toporek of Forbes writes. Antetokounmpo has the option of signing a five-year, $228MM supermax extension with the Bucks, who elevated their roster by acquiring Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic earlier this week. Gallinari will enter unrestricted free agency on Friday and shared mutual interest with the Heat on a trade last February, but Miami was unwilling to extend the 32-year-old and surrender cap space. He averaged 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 29.6 minutes per game with the Thunder last season, shooting 40.5% from three-point range.
  • The Hawks currently have Brandon Goodwin in their plans for next season, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes. Goodwin has just $100K guaranteed on his $1.7MM deal, which Atlanta could choose to fully guarantee in the coming days. He averaged 6.1 points in 12.6 minutes off the bench in 2019/20.
  • The Magic are entering the draft in need of an offensive spark, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Orlando owns the No. 15 selection this year and recently signed 2019 first-round pick Chuma Okeke, who missed the season due to torn ACL rehab. The team also owns the No. 45 pick in the second round of the event.
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