It’s still unclear what Luol Deng will do with his player option, worth nearly $10.152MM, with tonight’s deadline to decide looming, but the Heat absolutely wants him back, as team president Pat Riley made clear after the draft, notes Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). That’s in spite of Miami’s selection of small forward Justise Winslow at No. 10. While we wait to see just what Deng will do, here’s more from around the Southeast:
- GM Ernie Grunfeld didn’t think the Wizards would have the chance to trade up and nab Kelly Oubre until a day before the draft, and in so doing, Washington landed a player who has a relationship with D.C. native and 2016 free agent Kevin Durant, as Benjamin Standig of The Associated Press examines.
- J. Michael of CSNWashington.com looks at the options the Wizards have if Paul Pierce, who’s opting out, doesn’t re-sign.
- Forward Aaron White, whom the Wizards drafted 49th overall out of Iowa, will “definitely” play overseas this coming season, as Michael hears, but Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes that a decision has not yet been made. “Aaron will play Summer League with the Wizards and then we will evaluate if it is best to go overseas or not this season,” White’s agent, Chris Emens, wrote in an e-mail to Castillo. “Aaron is open to doing whatever the Wizards think is best for his development.”
- The pair of players the Hawks drafted in the second-round Thursday will stay overseas, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Swedish shooting guard Marcus Eriksson, the 50th pick, and Greek forward Dimitrios Agravanis, pick No. 59, remain under contract with Barcelona of Spain and Olympiacos of Greece, respectively, according to Vivlamore.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel breaks down the new Magic assistant coaches whose hires the team officially announced Friday: former Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin, former Mavs assistant Monte Mathis, Mario Elie, who last was an NBA assistant with the Nets in 2012/13, and former Lakers D-League coach Conner Henry.