Eastern Notes: Oladipo, Simmons, Durant, Porzingis, LaVine

Heat guard Victor Oladipo is hoping to make his season debut within the next two weeks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Oladipo has been rehabbing from quad tendon surgery and has only played four games with Miami since being acquired 11 months ago.

With Oladipo’s season debut inching closer, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines how the veteran guard could fit in the Heat’s rotation. Oladipo will likely play backup point guard behind Kyle Lowry. The Heat could also finish games with him, sporting a defensive-minded lineup of Lowry, Oladipo, Jimmy Butler, P.J. Tucker and Bam Adebayo.

Oladipo played 33 games last season with Indiana, Houston and Miami, averaging 19.8 points on 41% shooting. His last healthy season was the 2017/18 campaign, when he averaged a career-high 23.1 points and 2.4 steals per game. He also shot 48% from the floor and 37% from deep that season.

Here are some other notes from the East:

  • Nets superstar Kevin Durant (sprained MCL) is also moving closer to a return, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com writes. “Every day closer,” head coach Steve Nash said. “We’ll see. I expect in the next week he’ll be back for sure. It could be quick; it could be the whole week barring any setbacks.” While Durant is returning soon, Ben Simmons‘ timetable remains unclear. “He’s not gone to high intensity yet,” Nash said. “Just ramping him up still.”
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington poses five questions for the Wizards now that the All-Star break has passed. Among the topics Hughes addresses is Kristaps Porzingis‘ potential role, specifically how much he’ll play. The 26-year-old has only appeared in 34 games this season due to injuries.
  • Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report conducted a Q&A with Bulls star Zach LaVine, covering his season, team and ambitions. LaVine has averaged 24.5 points per game and will become a free agent this summer. “For me, it’s not even about my contract [situation]”, he said. “I’m a competitor. I want to go to the playoffs and play on the big stage. Contract, everything, that all comes. But I look at it day by day. You can’t get to April in a day. You’re gonna have to play and compete each and every day to get there, and then once the playoffs come, we got to go do our thing. You know I’m really excited. I’m really excited to be on that stage, because I haven’t been there yet.”
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