Southeast Notes: Heat, Beal, Gafford, Hornets, Hunter

While the Heat didn’t make a deal for Kyle Lowry at last week’s trade deadline, their acquisition of Victor Oladipo and their salary cap situation put them in a good spot, says Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. As O’Connor explains, Miami will get a shot to evaluate Oladipo for the rest of the season before deciding whether or not to re-sign him. If they opt to let Oladipo go, the Heat are in position to open up enough cap room to make a serious run at Lowry.

Of course, Pat Riley and the Heat may prefer to go after a higher caliber of star than the 35-year-old Lowry. But it doesn’t look right now as if there will be many available this offseason, O’Connor notes. That could change if Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who shut down trade speculation all season, eventually reconsiders his stance.

As O’Connor writes, Beal still might be the most realistic target for teams seeking a superstar, since he’ll be on an expiring contract in 2021/22. Sources tell The Ringer that Beal’s decision to remain in D.C. for at least the rest of this season was motivated in part by wanting to get through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic before making any life-altering decisions.

Beal has repeatedly pledged his loyalty to Washington, so even after the pandemic – and with his free agency nearing – he still may not want to be dealt. But teams are continuing to monitor that situation. According to O’Connor, the Heat, Celtics, Knicks, and Pelicans are among the teams interested in pursuing Beal, with the Raptors also looming as a possible sleeper.

Here’s more from around the NBA’s Southeast:

  • Daniel Gafford had a strong Wizards debut on Saturday, racking up 13 points, five rebounds, and three blocks in just 14 minutes, impressing his teammates and head coach Scott Brooks. “He had just a fantastic game. It was a great first game for him,” Brooks said, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “We’re going to keep working with him. He’s definitely a keeper. He has a chance to be good for a lot of years with his skill set.”
  • Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said on Friday that his team will monitor the buyout market, though he acknowledged that the top players to shake loose may not have Charlotte atop their wish lists, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Kupchak also conceded that the team will need to address its center position this offseason at the latest. “Since Cody (Zeller) and Biz (Bismack Biyombo) are both going to be free agents, that would be an area of concern going forward,” Kupchak said. “This summer they’re going to have options and we may or may not have options. That is, and was, a focus (of trade talks).”
  • Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter is dealing with some swelling in his surgically repaired knee. While GM Travis Schlenk downplayed the issue, a medical expert who spoke to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic believes it could be something Hunter has to deal with for the rest of the season.
newest oldest

22 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Heat, Beal, Gafford, Hornets, Hunter

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Hornets would be wise to go after Drummond. I’ll keep saying it till they sign him. You can have a big time Center like Embiid, Rudy, Jokic. Or you can do something like Lakers did last yr. Howard and McGee sharing it. Means you have talent around them. A guy like Kornet can give you 15-20 productive mins. As a big who can step out. And you can have Whiteside anchoring the D for 20-25 mins. That combo can work. Drummond gives you 32 mins of productive center play. You can help him on D. He’s still valuable to some teams. He makes Hornets a good playoff team.

    • x%sure

      “I’ll keep saying it till they…”
      What do you call team advice that never changes from team to team?— An Old, lecturing, but not GMs.
      Liking all youth and disparaging all well-paid veterans doesn’t change that.

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      The Hornets should have traded for Drummond a month ago.

      I’d like to say I have no idea why they didn’t, but I do know. The front office is packed full of idiots.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    I’m not giving up everything to get Beal. RJ is becoming our star. We sign a player next yr (Dinwiddie, Fournier) we will be fine. I rather keep our picks next yr. Maybe I give up one and future picks for right player. Beal will take more than that. Knicks should pass. Wizards have some good young talent. Moving Beal speeds up their rebuilding. Westbrook can be moved next yr with only one yr left. I think there’s a good chance Wizards will move Beal.

  3. Sillivan

    Harden for Kelly O, Bradley, Exum and 4 picks from top teams

    Beal would get better because they have better GM

    Knicks would offer Knox, Toppins, Frank the tank Jr and 3 picks

    That is two times better than Harden package because of cost saving and younger player

    • Sillivan

      Mavs and Knicks picks are better than Nets and Bucks

      Nets and Bucks picks are really bad bad bad

      Ben Simmons has 10 times more value than old man Kelly Olynyk

          • Lil D MVC aka Uno

            Hahahaha he is in the NBA we don’t need you to tell us he is good at basketball.

            Love when ppl humblebrag not even using their real identity. We’re all proud of you bro!

            • bigguccisosa300

              Love when bottom 3 commenters that have never sniffed an NBA player try to s*** on me

            • bigguccisosa300

              Lol like if you wanna know my name I’ll tell you bro. Idk why that’s an issue for you, guess you’re just insecure about your own identity

            • bigguccisosa300

              Which you probably should be because you act like a punk on the internet every day

    • WallyWood

      Tommy Sheppard is a better GM than Rafael Stone? Since Sheppard showed up in Washington 18 years ago the team has made it past the first round 4 times (before losing in the second round) and missed the playoffs 10 times (including this year). Setting the bar pretty low there for Stone, aren’t we?

      We’re talking about a guy who literally got Kevin Porter for nothing.

      And the other gave away John Wall and a first rounder for Westbrick.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Be nice you use to be called Westbrick lol
        I still like Westbrook. You got it wrong bro. It’s Ernie Grunfeld who was Wash GM not Sheppard. Grunfeld had talent at times. He did get Wall and Beal. Stone was mentored by Morey. Not a fan of Morey, he’s ok.

      • El Don

        As always Russ is lighting it up with a great season, balling out… Optimus Dime is havin’ a very low key season, so much below the level of Russ… so what is your point, that particular trade was won by a country mile by WAS!!!
        BTW Sheppard is just new as the GM in WAS, only a few months before Stone in HOU, but he is lookin’ a lot better, if they can get rid of Beal their future is lookin’ good, when he doesn’t play Deni & Rui look sooo good, adding whatever they got for Beal that will be a very good team movin’ forward!

  4. formerlyz

    Charlotte should try to keep Zeller, and a veteran rim protector that can guard pick and roll, giving their young guys a chance to continue to develop makes sense. If they can keep those bigs, or end up with a facsimile of them, they really only need help with shooting at the 2/3 spots off the bench, and I think they’re a very dangerous team…

    Oladipo doesnt necessarily have to look like he did before his injury. Not even sure they need much from him offensively. They need his disruptiveness defensively at the guard spot more than anything. Obviously, they can sign Lowry in the offseason, but I still would have moved Herro for him, depending on the rest of the trade. I’m happy he is still here, and still hope he can continue to grow, but that was a potential massive upgrade for right now, and probably still an upgrade over the next 2+ years

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      Charlotte should keep Zeller – if they can do it for about 1/5 of what he’s making right now.

      That contract stunk the moment it was signed. 4Y/$56M? Nobody – and I mean nobody – was going to shell out that kind of coin for him.

      But, whatever. At least it’s over soon.

  5. Beal is an elite scorer, but NOT a superstar. I do have a feeling that some team will trade for him as though he is superstar, and give up a PG13 / Harden type package. I pray it’s not the Knicks.

Leave a Reply