Southeast Notes: Butler, Bamba, Hawks, Len, Wizards

The Heat may not be without star swingman Jimmy Butler for much longer. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, the expectation is that Butler – who hasn’t played since January 9 – will clear the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Monday.

The Heat will be in action tonight in Brooklyn, but Butler will need a little more time to get his conditioning back up to speed and to pass a cardiac screening before he’s cleared to play in a game. Jackson says there’s optimism that Butler will be able to return later this week and that the same is true of Avery Bradley, who has also been in the league’s COVID-19 protocols for over two weeks.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The sixth overall pick in 2018, Magic center Mohamed Bamba has an underwhelming NBA résumé so far, but it’s unfair to label him a bust since injuries and a lack of playing time have prevented him from showing what he can do, contends Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer. The 22-year-old has been limited to 33 total minutes across four games so far this season.
  • In an official press release, the Hawks shared details on their plan to begin allowing fans into their home games at State Farm Arena. The club will initially only fill the arena to about eight percent of its capacity.
  • Alex Len was an ideal addition for the Wizards, who needed to fill a hole in their frontcourt and didn’t want to give up anything to do so, says Fred Katz of The Athletic. As Katz notes, the veteran big man was able to assume a rotation role immediately and looked comfortable in his first game with the team on Sunday.
  • While the Wizards were back in action for the first time in nearly two weeks on Sunday, it’ll be a little while longer before things are “back to normal” for the team, writes Ava Wallace of The Washington Post.
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14 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Butler, Bamba, Hawks, Len, Wizards

  1. Stilt Armstrong

    Hard to give Bamba playing time when they are short handed, and need Vucevic to play as much as possible to stay in the playoff picture. Clifford operates a little like Thibs, with a sense of humor. Ultimately choosimg what works night in, and night out. Not impressed with Okeke. I expected more, but he is coming off serious injury. Anthony has been great, and Clifford has managed him well. Safe to assume Bamba is a project still if he’s behind Birch in the rotation?

    Should trade Bamba for Monk, Vernon Carey Jr.

    • Magic 24/7

      That article was terrible…how do you write about Bamba’s development & lack of “playing time” without even mentioning the reality of his health issues?

      A leg fracture caused him to miss 1/2 his rookie yr + 1st NBA offseason, which are crucial for young player development.

      This extended to his 2nd season training camp, where medical staff limited his activities and was on minutes restrictions thru early part of season.

      By January he was playing well, showing his tremendous defensive potential. Then in early March, a global pandemic shut down the NBA.

      Over the hiatus he added a lot of much needed mass. Then 2 weeks before the NBA bubble restart, he caught Covid. This impacted his conditioning and raised deeper health issue concerns causing the Magic’s medical staff to shut him down immediately.

      Over the offseason and into this season, those same Covid related issues persisted, so he was again handled cautiously by the Magic’s medical staff.

      Then just as he had been cleared to play a couple of weeks ago, he failed the NBA’s Covid contact tracing protocol…forcing him to not go with team on their long road trip.

      That’s the reality of his time w/Magic…not what the Ringer is trying to spin.

  2. x%sure

    The Ringer makes it unintentionally funny in indicating Mo Bamba cannot develop because ORL keeps trying to win!

    Bamba not only plays behind Vucevic but behind Khem Birch as well, who can move better on D and run PnRs with Terrence Ross. The writer listed all the “little” things Birch can do, then wrote:
    “It’s unfair to ask Bamba to do those same things. He’s a lottery pick with the upside to play all over the floor on offense.”

    But he only shoots 33% from 3; indeed all his stats are winding down. ORL will have decide on picking up his options. The HC actually had him ahead of Birch last season but might be giving up.

    Too young still?— NV & KB were about 26 when they got to their levels; MB is four yrs younger. He may still be set back by covid, and can improve in theory.

    Interesting chart with lottery bigs from 2018 draft showing their defensive liabilities… Ayton the worst, Bamba, WendelCarter, Bagley, and a successful Jaren Jackson… bigger is not better!

  3. hiflew

    It’s never unfair to label a pick a bust due to injuries. A bust is a bust regardless of reason. I think it is fair to call Greg Oden a bust and that was nothing but injuries. It is unfair to label Bamba as a bust simply because he hasn’t been in the league long enough. Although he does appear to be on the road to being a big bust.

    • Stilt Armstrong

      He needs to be somewhere he can play atleast 7-15 minutes consistently to hopefully improve his timing, and defensive acumen.

      Wizards seem wide open at the C position. Charlotte too.

      Change of scenery could be really helpful, different coaches, different criticisms, different opportunity. Not a bust, but an underperforming lottery pick thus far. Still not Anthony Bennett, not yet.

      • Magic 24/7

        That article was terrible…how do you write about Bamba’s development & lack of “playing time” without even mentioning the reality of his health issues?

        A leg fracture caused him to miss 1/2 his rookie yr + 1st NBA offseason, which are crucial for young player development.

        This extended to his 2nd season training camp, where medical staff limited his activities and was on minutes restrictions thru early part of season.

        By January he was playing well, showing his tremendous defensive potential. Then in early March, a global pandemic shut down the NBA.

        Over the hiatus he added a lot of much needed mass. Then 2 weeks before the NBA bubble restart, he caught Covid. This impacted his conditioning and raised deeper health issue concerns causing the Magic’s medical staff to shut him down immediately.

        Over the offseason and into this season, those same Covid related issues persisted, so he was again handled cautiously by the Magic’s medical staff.

        Then just as he had been cleared to play a couple of weeks ago, he failed the NBA’s Covid contact tracing protocol…forcing him to not go with team on their long road trip.

        That’s the reality of his time w/Magic…not what the Ringer is trying to spin.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Bamba should be playing. It’s been yrs not gms they haven’t played him. He should have in G-league from start. He’s up for new contract. He’s not worth it on his resume. So he’s probably gone, we never knew ya.

    • Magic 24/7

      You’re comment is as bad as that article was terrible…how do you write about Bamba’s development & lack of “playing time” without even mentioning the reality of his health issues?

      A leg fracture caused him to miss 1/2 his rookie yr + 1st NBA offseason, which are crucial for young player development.

      This extended to his 2nd season training camp, where medical staff limited his activities and was on minutes restrictions thru early part of season.

      By January he was playing well, showing his tremendous defensive potential. Then in early March, a global pandemic shut down the NBA.

      Over the hiatus he added a lot of much needed mass. Then 2 weeks before the NBA bubble restart, he caught Covid. This impacted his conditioning and raised deeper health issue concerns causing the Magic’s medical staff to shut him down immediately.

      Over the offseason and into this season, those same Covid related issues persisted, so he was again handled cautiously by the Magic’s medical staff.

      Then just as he had been cleared to play a couple of weeks ago, he failed the NBA’s Covid contact tracing protocol…forcing him to not go with team on their long road trip.

      That’s the reality of his time w/Magic…not what the Ringer is trying to spin.

  5. Magic 24/7

    How do you write an article about Bamba’s development & lack of “playing time” without even mentioning the reality of his health issues?

    You know, the leg fracture that caused him to miss 1/2 his rookie yr + 1st NBA summer…or his bout with Covid and related issues from it?

    • Stilt Armstrong

      How do folks do, or say a lot of the things they say, or do?

      The Ringer is hoping to drum up some digital traffic as the TD nears. Not too big a deal!

  6. phillyballers

    Bamba is a bust. If he wont ever be a top-2 or Top-3 player on your team, hes a bust.

  7. Walladipo and Wood

    I love reading personal comments from those here who have no idea how much I despised Westbrook long before he was with the Rockets or the Wizards. Calling me the “worst type of fan” because they think I only hate Russ because he’s no longer with Houston. But I am so glad he’s gone because rooting for him made me physically ill. Please stop presuming to know me and being so childish about it, OK?

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