Kings get until April 18 to decide on Anaheim move

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The Maloof brothers have a little more time to negotiate and think things through.

The NBA’s Board of Governors — the owners — has granted the Sacramento Kings an extension until April 18 to file for relocation next season, according to a tweet from CNBC’s Darren Rovell. That deadline is usually March 1. The board will meet again April 14-15, so if a move is approved it likely will be then.

The Kings are in talks with the Honda Center in Anaheim to move south next season and become the third team in the Southern California market.

The Maloof brothers — Joe and Gavin — have worked for years to get a new building in Sacramento that would house the Kings, but could not get a deal done. Combine that with the slumping economy, attendance being down because the team stunk and was boring, and you have the reasons the Kings have struggled financially.

Anaheim has an NBA-ready building in the Honda Center — it’s 18 years old but does have a lot of luxury boxes and the other high end seating that have become the real driver of team gate receipts and profit. What it also has is a massive Southern California television market (one where the Lakers just got a deal in the ballpark of $150 million a season).

All that does not ensure anything — the NHL’s Ducks play in that building and are 26th in that league in attendance, or 23rd in percentage of building filled.

The Honda Center is run by billionaire in Henry Samueli, the owner of said Ducks and co-founders of Broadcom. He is worth an estimated $1.7 billion. The Maloofs have said however they would not be selling the team to Samueli nor accepting a loan from him.

If the Kings were to move they would not have to pay territorial rights fees to the Lakers and Clippers (which likely would have killed such a move).

Monday night an organized rally of Kings fans filled the ARCO Arena to show the Maloof brothers how much support there still is for the Kings in Sacramento. Unquestionably there is — it has been a loyal and strong market. But high-end seating and local television revenues are the driving forces for NBA team finances, and that is where Sacramento has fallen short.

And we’ll know by April 18 if the Kings will screw over the Sacramento fans this summer.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.