Southeast Notes: Westbrook, Evans, Reddish, Huerter, Heat Arena

Russell Westbrook said he’s been embraced by the Wizards organization and the fans in the Washington, D.C. area, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “It’s been great,” he said. “The city, the team, the coaches; everybody has kind of welcomed me and my family with open arms. That’s all you can ask for.” Westbrook has two more seasons left on his contract. He’ll make $44.2MM next season and holds a $47MM option for the 2022/23 season.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Dr. Katherine Evans has been named VP of research & information systems for the Wizards as well as the G League’s Go-Go and WNBA’s Mystics, according to a team press release. Evans is the first woman to head the research or analytics department of an NBA franchise. Prior to joining the Wizards, Dr. Evans served as the director of strategic research for the Raptors.
  • The Hawks could be adding another player to their rotation in the second round. Cam Reddish, who has been sidelined by right Achilles soreness, has progressed to full participation in practices the last two days, including live action, according to a team press release. Following upcoming five-on-five full-court scrimmages, he will be reviewed once again. Reddish has not played since February 21.
  • The Hawks ought to lock up Kevin Huerter with a rookie scale extension this offseason, even if he remains on the second unit, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic opines. Huerter’s perimeter shooting and ability to guard multiple positions gives the Hawks plenty of lineup flexibility, Kirschner notes. A contract extension similar to the one Luke Kennard received from the Clippers (worth up to $64MM over four years) would make sense, considering Huerter is a better all-around player, Kirschner adds.
  • The Heat will be playing in the same building but it has a new name. After a long run as AmericanAirlines Arena, the Heat’s home will be called FTX Arena, the team tweets.
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