Eastern Notes: Magic, Keefe, Giannis, Embiid, Dinwiddie, Wizards

The Magic intend on targeting veterans once free agency begins this week, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said, as relayed by Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Orlando currently has a roster filled with younger players — including Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Isaac and Wendell Carter Jr. — making it imperative that the team also has some veterans by the time next season starts.

“Our goal would be to add experience to the roster,” Weltman said. “But it has to come in the right form and fashion. It has to be guys that we feel will help move our team forward, help our young guys navigate the early stages of their careers and can also help us on the court and show what hard work and preparation leads to.”

One veteran who spent time with Orlando the past two seasons, James Ennis, is set to reach the open market, though he recently told Hoops Rumors that his top priority will be finding a winning situation. The Magic finished with just a 21-51 record last season.

Here are some other notes from the East tonight:

  • The Nets are hiring Brian Keefe as an assistant coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Keefe, a veteran NBA assistant, was a finalist for the Thunder’s head coaching job one year ago, Wojnarowski notes. Keefe will replace Mike D’Antoni on Steve Nash‘s staff.
  • Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t need surgery on the knee he hyperextended during the playoffs, according to general manager Jon Horst“He’s fine,” Horst said, as relayed by The Associated Press. “I can’t explain it, but he’s fine.”
  • The Sixers are refusing to address questions about Joel Embiid‘s lingering knee injury, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Embiid sustained the injury in Game 4 of the team’s first-round series against the Wizards, though he still went on to average 28.1 points and 10.5 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game during the postseason.
  • A potential sign-and-trade for Spencer Dinwiddie won’t be easy to figure out for the Wizards, as detailed by Fred Katz of The Athletic. Washington is operating over the salary cap, meaning Dinwiddie could only join the team via a sign-and-trade, and the Nets won’t be eager to take on any significant salary for a player they don’t love. Dinwiddie missed most of last season after suffering a partially torn ACL. He averaged a career-high 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game the season before, however, shooting 41.5% from the field.
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