Southeast Notes: Highsmith, Butler, W. Carter, Wizards

It has been a good week for Heat forward Haywood Highsmith so far. He had his best game of the season on Wednesday in Boston, matching a career high with 16 points while chipping in eight rebounds, a pair of blocks, and a career-best four 3-pointers.

Additionally, by remaining on the Heat’s roster through Thursday, Highsmith saw his partial guarantee increase to $700K, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Highsmith, whose full salary for the 2022/23 season is $1,752,638, will have that entire amount guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before January 7.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • With Jimmy Butler – upgraded to questionable for Friday’s game – on the verge of making his return for the Heat following a seven-game absence, head coach Erik Spoelstra remains confident that better days are ahead for the sub-.500 club, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Even on that (Nov. 16-21) road trip, when we were 0-4, we showed incredible resiliency,” Spoelstra said. “And that’s when I started to think, ‘Alright, we’ve got something here, we do.’ Our record may be this, but we’re developing some requisite toughness, some collective grit, some collective resiliency to be able to deal with runs and deal with crowds, deal with all that kind of stuff.”
  • Magic center Wendell Carter Jr., who has been out since November 18 due to a right plantar fascia strain, told Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday that he hopes to return in a week or two. Price cautions that Carter’s timeline remains fluid and will ultimately depend on how the foot responds to treatment.
  • Billionaire Jeffrey Skoll is buying into Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Wizards and other D.C.-area sports franchises, per Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams of Sportico (subscription required). Skoll, who was the first president of eBay and has an estimated worth of $5.6 billion, will become a minority stakeholder in Ted Leonsis‘ parent company, which also controls the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
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