Southeast Notes: Lowry, Heat, Hawks, Lang, Wizards

When the Heat explored the trade market for Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline, teams reportedly sought at least one first-round pick just to take on the veteran guard, who is on a pricey multiyear contract and was dealing with a knee injury at the time. But Lowry is rebuilding his value with his performance so far in the postseason, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Four years removed from being the starting point guard on a Toronto team that won a championship, Lowry has accepted a bench role during this season’s playoffs and has registered no complaints, having told reporters that as long as the Heat are winning, he doesn’t care what his role is.

“He is an ultimate winner,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “So what drives him more than anything is winning. And there were just unfortunate circumstances how we got to this. His injury shut him down for five weeks and the plan, as we’ve talked about quite a bit, it just made the most sense initially to bring him off the bench.

“And then it just got so late, we didn’t have a lot of time. He’s been fantastic about it. One of the things we found, you’re bringing a Hall of Fame mind off the bench. And our second unit was struggling for much of the year. You shift him into there, a lot of these things that we were working on endlessly just kind of get taken care of.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post takes a look at how the Heat‘s ability to turn undrafted players into rotation pieces has helped the team withstand injuries and given Miami an advantage in its second-round series vs. New York. As Lewis notes, the Heat have seven undrafted players on their roster, the most of any team in the playoffs.
  • The Hawks will hire Antonio Lang as one of Quin Snyder‘s lead assistant coaches, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). A Cavaliers assistant for the last four seasons, Lang previously worked on Snyder’s staff in Utah from 2014-19.
  • If the Wizards were to win Tuesday’s draft lottery and the rights to French phenom Victor Wembanyama, it wouldn’t just change the direction of the franchise — it would alter the entire D.C. sports landscape, according to David Aldridge and Josh Robbins of The Athletic. While Wembanyama wouldn’t necessarily make the Wizards an instant contender, he’d provide much-needed hope for a “depressed fan base,” The Athletic’s duo writes.
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