Southeast Notes: Trae, Gafford, Wizards, Howard, Haslem

Hawks guard Trae Young has been diagnosed with a concussion and placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol, the team announced today (Twitter links).

Young suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss to Cleveland when he was defending an Isaac Okoro drive to the basket and drew an offensive foul (video link via The Hawks’ leading scorer left the game after taking a shot to the head on that play and didn’t return.

As the Hawks noted in today’s announcement, Young will have to pass all the checkpoints in the return-to-participation process before being cleared to play again. The timeline varies from player to player, but it often requires a multi-game absence.

That was the case for Wizards center Daniel Gafford, who missed two games this week while in the concussion protocol but isn’t listed on the injury report for Sunday’s game vs. Denver, suggesting he’s set to return, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards, who have a 7-34 record at the season’s midpoint, didn’t expect to be quite this bad on the court, but they still see some positive signs in the early stages of their rebuild, writes Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. The team’s strong locker room chemistry, for instance, has been encouraging. “Even though we’re not having a great season and [there are] people struggling and we’re still trying to get in rhythm, I feel like everybody’s still so supportive and happy, and we’re there for each other,” forward Deni Avdija said.
  • Although he has played just 39 minutes as a rookie so far after being drafted 11th overall, Magic guard Jett Howard is staying positive and views his stints in the G League as productive, per Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. “I’ve pretty much benefited a lot from Osceola and the playing time I got down there,” said Howard, who has averaged 22.4 points per game on .473/.402/.818 shooting in 12 appearances for Orlando’s NBAGL affiliate, the Osceola Magic. “It’s been great for my development so far. I’ve been loving the process and just falling in love with it at this point.”
  • Following his retirement as a player, Udonis Haslem is working with the Heat as the team’s VP of player development. However, he hasn’t given up on his goal of becoming a shareholder in the franchise’s ownership group. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel details, Haslem has floated the idea of partnering with Rick Ross, a rapper and record executive with roots in Miami, to buy a stake in the Heat.
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