Southeast Notes: Oladipo, Hornets, Gasol, Heat, Hawks

Heat guard Victor Oladipo is confident that the fit between him and Miami will be a great one, telling reporters this past week that he hopes it will last for years to come, as relayed by Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel.

Oladipo, who was acquired by Miami on trade deadline day just over a week ago, has been cited as a potential Heat target for well over a calendar year, with multiple reports indicating that Miami was always his preferred destination. He played his second game with the team on Saturday against the Cavaliers, starting at point guard.

“I think my name has been linked for so many years,” Oladipo said. “Obviously, I spend my offseasons here, the connection with D-Wade and everything like that, I think in some people’s eyes, it would be a good fit.

“For me, personally, I thought I definitely could fit into the Heat culture and what they stood for, how they play, how they get after it and things of that nature. So when told I was being traded there, first and foremost it’s not like I’m going to a foreign land where I don’t know anybody or a foreign experience. It’s something that I’m comfortable with.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division today:

  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines where the Hornets could find offensive production with LaMelo Ball (wrist fracture), Gordon Hayward (foot sprain), and Malik Monk (ankle sprain) sidelined. The trio has combined for 44% of the team’s scoring, meaning other players will have to step up in order for the franchise to sustain success. Charlotte holds the fourth-best record in the East at 25-23, but the club is also just one game ahead of the No. 7 Knicks.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether Marc Gasol could become a buyout option for the Heat in his “Ask Ira” mailbag. Gasol has an uncertain future with the Lakers, who pegged the recently-signed Andre Drummond as their new starting center last week and already have Montrezl Harrell playing as back-up center. Miami is in the market for a big man and league rules require that they add another player by Thursday.
  • Chris Kirschner of The Athletic examines a number of Hawks-related topics in his latest mailbag, including coach Nate McMillan, star big man John Collins and more. Atlanta has climbed back into the playoff picture and currently holds a 25-24 record, trailing the Hornets by half a game.
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