Mike Ilitch, the owner of the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers, is working on the final details to purchase the Detroit Pistons, according to the Associated Press and Crains Detroit Business Journal.
Current Pistons owner Karen Davidson (who took control when her husband Bill died) had said she wanted to have the team sold by the start of the season. It appears that the two sides may well have an agreement by then, although the sale cannot go through until the NBA Board of Governors (the owners) approve the sale, which likely will take a little longer.
The price is not yet known, although it is expected to be maybe $100 million less than the $450 million value estimated by Forbes last year.
This decision — when there were other suitors lined up — is a little bit of a surprise because of bad blood between Ilitch’s holding company and Davidson’s Palace Sports and Entertainment (which has included trips to court). However, Davidson said she had wanted to make sure the Pistons would not leave Detroit and this makes that a certainty.
Ilitch made his money as the founder of the Little Caesars pizza chain. Ilitch would become the only person to own teams in three of the four major sports leagues in the United States (NFL bylaws would prevent him from buying the Lions without selling the other teams).
It could be a good thing for a Pistons team that had been a powerhouse in much of the 2000s (what is the right name for that decade?) but had slipped in recent years and is on the verge of needing to rebuild on the court. Ilitch has had the Red Wings as one of the top teams in hockey during his tenure, and has done reasonably well in baseball (considering the tortured economics of that sport and competing with the big boys).
Ilitch has already started the planning for a new downtown Detroit arena that would house the Red Wings and now the Pistons, as part of a revival of that area. That deal now seems to take a step forward.
Owning three teams opens up some interesting ideas in terms of selling sponsorship and advertising for the three entieites.
The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.
Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.
He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):
We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.
The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.
But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.
Not that Lin cares what I say.
When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.
But there were some great blocks.
Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.
Carmelo Anthony was reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Rockets or Cavaliers. Cleveland never seemed overly interested, but Houston was. Anthony became set on the Rockets, even reportedly expecting a trade to Houston.
Then, Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cavs.
That has thrown everything for a loop. Maybe Cleveland is more keen on trading for Anthony now? The Knicks are reportedly interested in trading Anthony and draft picks for Irving.
But any deal still depends on Anthony’s approval, and it’s now unclear he’d still grant that for the Cavaliers.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston.
Consider this another indication LeBron James will leave Cleveland next summer. Of course, Anthony might have other reasons for preferring Houston. But when reading tea leaves on LeBron’s future, this is a clue.
I doubt LeBron has completely decided his plan, and he hasn’t even necessarily shared his thinking with Anthony, a close friend. Remember, LeBron edited his coming-home essay while on a flight with an unknowing Dwyane Wade, another close friend. But it was one thing for LeBron to strand Wade in Miami, a desirable city where Wade was happy even before LeBron arrived. It’d be something else entirely for LeBron to ditch Anthony in Cleveland. If LeBron is considering leaving, maybe he’d tell Anthony to stay clear.
Anthony could also be operating without hearing directly from LeBron. But if LeBron’s friend believes LeBron might leave, that’d still say something (though obviously not as much).
Back to the possibility that Anthony prefers the Rockets for other reasons. What happens if New York and Cleveland agree to a trade? Does Anthony still hold out for his top choice? Or does he relent and accept what was once his second choice? For now, it seems as if he’s still angling for Houston and will cross other bridges if he reaches them.