It wouldn’t be shocking to hear the Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the NBA teams losing money, even with a $54 million payroll that is 27th in the league.
But $20 million?
That’s what is suggested in Sid Hartman’s column in the Star Tribune (via Henry Abbott at TrueHoop). Hartman also says that Kurt Rambis and more may be on the hot seat. Again, this would not be a shock. We’re a little hesitant because there are no sources listed here so please read with grains of salt.
The Wolves could lose up to $20 million and are reported to have a big debt at one of the local banks. The (NHL’s Minnesota) Wild lost some money last year and will lose some more this year, but not as much as the Wolves.
Indications are that both coaches — Kurt Rambis of the Wolves and Todd Richards of the Wild — are in danger of losing their jobs.
Glen Taylor, owner of the Wolves, has refused to say that either President of Basketball Operations David Kahn or Rambis will be back next season, although each has one more year on his contract.
“We will talk about it after the season,” Taylor said other day, giving no indication about the future of either one.
Numbers can be manipulated, so while we can question the figure, but do not doubt the Wolves are in the red. Taylor is one of the NBA owners lead negotiators in the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement talks. He can look across the table and say he is losing money, and nobody is going to question him. Now, whether the profits that the Bulls and Lakers turn should be used to cover those losses and not a reduction of players’ salaries is another issue.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.