Southeast Notes: Magic, Hornets, Drummond, All-Star Game

While the Magic‘s roster has been decimated by injuries this season, no pre-deadline fire sale appears imminent. League sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe that Orlando has been “projecting patience and optimism” about bringing their core players back next season, with Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz due back from major knee injuries.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Magic will stand pat entirely at this season’s deadline. Lowe suggests that the team might be open to a deal involving Evan Fournier, whose contract will expire this summer, but he stresses that’s just his speculation.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • In an effort to find a logical landing spot for Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic says the Hornets make sense as a potential trade partner for Cleveland. Drummond’s $28.7MM salary is tricky to match, but Charlotte could get most of the way there by using Cody Zeller‘s expiring $15.4MM contract, according to Vecenie, who notes that adding Malik Monk‘s and Bismack Biyombo‘s expiring deals would result in enough outgoing salary.
  • After having a pair of games postponed due to COVID-19 contact tracing and having been unable to conduct more than individual workouts this week, the Hornets anticipate being cleared to practice by late Friday afternoon, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. For now, the Hornets’ Saturday game vs. Golden State remains on the schedule as planned.
  • In explaining how the Hawks ended up hosting this year’s All-Star Game, team CEO Steve Koonin pointed to Turner Sports as a driving force behind the decision. “TNT has the All-Star game, it’s one of their marquee events, and by doing it in Atlanta, this allows Turner to not have to travel hundreds of people to another site,” Koonin explained, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “So there wasn’t a competition, there wasn’t an application process, there wasn’t a bid process, this was literally select by the NBA, Turner, and then asked if our building was available, which of course we’re going to make available to our partners.”
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