Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will likely exercise his $13MM player option this summer rather than testing the free agent market, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer opines in his latest mailbag. Kidd-Gilchrist has been moved to a reserve role this season and has an injury history, Bonnell notes. He’s also well-liked in the organization, Bonnell adds. Marvin Williams ($15MM) and Bismack Biyombo ($17MM) also have player options this summer.
We have more from the Southeast Division:
- The Hornets have an open roster spot but Bonnell says there’s no rush to fill it. GM Mitch Kupchak likes the flexibility of having 14 players on the regular roster and it hasn’t been an issue from an injury standpoint through the first 30 games, Bonnell continues. The opportunity to make a two-for-one deal means they probably won’t fill that spot with a free agent in the coming weeks, Bonnell adds.
- The trade with the Suns for forward Trevor Ariza forced Tomas Satoransky out of the lineup but he now has a more defined role with the Wizards, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington points out. Satoransky has become the team’s primary backup guard, guaranteeing him steady minutes. Satoransky played 48 minutes in a triple-overtime thriller against Phoenix on Saturday and 20 minutes in a loss to Indiana on Sunday. The Wizards traded Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers for Ariza. “I think definitely it changes the dynamic of the game,” Satoransky told Hughes. “Those two were our first scorers off the bench, so now we have to adjust. Obviously, there is some bigger responsibility that I will have.”
- Heat guard Dion Waiters has returned to practice but his surgically-repaired left ankle still causes him discomfort, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Waiters, who is signed through the 2020/21 campaign, hasn’t played this season but says he’s ready for action, though the ankle still feels “funny” at times. “Probably a couple of weeks, probably a couple of months,” he said of when he’d be 100%. “It’s how your body adjusts to it. As long as I continue to get treatment every day, take care of my body, and make sure I’m doing the little things, I feel like it’d be OK.”