Wizards center Thomas Bryant has been fined $45K for repeatedly making inappropriate contact with an official on Thursday, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Bryant, who received a technical foul as part of the incident, was aggressively attempting to confront Pistons forward Blake Griffin, who had committed a Flagrant Foul 1 against Bryant.
We have more from the Southeast Division:
- The Hornets’ prized offseason acquisition, forward Gordon Hayward, is hopeful he’ll play opening night despite a fractured right pinky finger, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Hayward tested out his injury on Friday with some shooting and ball-handling. He won’t play in the preseason finale on Saturday but believes he could return for the regular-season opener against the Cavaliers on Monday. “Certainly, I’m going to be doing everything I can to be ready for the opener,” Hayward said.
- The Hawks are still hopeful of getting a rookie scale extension done with forward John Collins by Monday’s deadline, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. If a deal doesn’t get done, Collins will be a restricted free agent next offseason. Team owner Tony Ressler recently remarked that he would “love to see” Collins remains in Atlanta for years to come.
- Rookies Cole Anthony and Chuma Okeke provide the Magic with a potent offensive duo off the bench, Dan Savage of the team’s website writes. They combined for five 3-pointers in Orlando’s preseason game on Thursday. “We obviously need to have balance with the starting five and the bench,” Magic shooting guard Evan Fournier said. “They’re going to have a huge role to play, so hopefully the (young) guys can figure it out and help us win.” Okeke missed all of last season with a knee injury, while Anthony was chosen with the 15th pick in this year’s draft.
- There’s no upside to trading Terry Rozier this season, Bonnell opines in a separate article for The Observer. Though the Hornets selected LaMelo Ball in the draft, Rozier is a steady producer, a strong locker room presence and adds intangibles that rub off on other players. It would make more sense to deal Rozier next offseason for a draft pick or young veteran when he’ll be entering his walk year, Bonnell adds.