Kurt Helin

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 30: Owner Mikhail Prokhorov of the Brooklyn Nets addresses the team during preseason training camp at Duke University on September 30, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Mikhail Prokhorov’s group buys 100% of Nets, Barclays Center

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This has been rumored to be coming for a while, but it’s now official:

Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim has bought out former Nets’ and Barclay’s Center owner Bruce Ratner’s ForestCity Group — Prokhorov now owns 100 percent of the Nets and the arena they play in, the combination valued at $1.7 billion. CNBC had the news early, and it was later confirmed in an official press release by the firms.

What does this mean? Mostly that Prokhorov is going to make a killing on the real estate deals surrounding the arena. He enjoys the vanity of owning an NBA team, but this was always also a real estate deal for him. It is possible down the line he could sell part of the team to minority owners. If the mood strikes him.

As for the Nets, nothing changes. Prokhorov and his firm have been pulling the strings for years, that’s not changing. Nor is the fact they are one of the worst teams in the NBA and don’t control their own first round draft pick until 2019.

NBA says Kevin Durant’s game-winner vs. Clippers should have been waived off

at Staples Center on December 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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This is ultimately meaningless. This ruling and $4 can get Doc Rivers and the Clippers a latte at Starbucks. Los Angeles still racks up the “L.”

The NBA on Tuesday ruled that Chris Paul should have gotten an and-1 free throw on the lay-up with 12 seconds left that put the Clippers ahead by one point over the Thunder on Monday night. Then, the NBA says Kevin Durant should never have gotten the chance to take what proved to be the game-winner over Luc Mbah a Moute because Serge Ibaka set an illegal screen to free Durant to get the inbounds pass in the first place. Those two rulings made correctly likely change the outcome of the game.

After every close game, the league releases its review of the calls made in the last couple minutes, something that previously went exclusively to the officials themselves. It’s part of Commissioner Adam Silver’s efforts at transparency with officiating. All that includes the report for the final couple minutes of the Thunder/Clippers game.

Chris Paul put the Clippers ahead with 12 seconds left in the game after Russell Westbrook fumbled an inbounds pass. The ball caromed right to CP3, who attacked the rim and made the layup. The league report says on the shot “as he falls to the ground, Westbrook (OKC) undercuts Paul (LAC) and makes contact with his left leg that affects his movement to the basket on the made layup attempt.” Should have been an and-1.

On the following play, as you can see above, Serge Ibaka certainly does set an illegal screen that frees up Durant to get the inbound pass. The report says, “Ibaka (OKC) extends his arms as he sets the screen on Mbah a Moute (LAC) without giving him room to avoid the contact”

The league does not reverse these calls, they just admit their mistakes and move on. The Clippers will try to do the same, but this loss stung, and this report is salt in the wound.

 

Report: Not much trade market for Ty Lawson

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 15:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Houston Rockets looks on from the bench against the Sacramento Kings during an NBA basketeball game at Sleep Train Arena on December 15, 2015 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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This summer, it seemed like a smart gamble. Denver wanted Ty Lawson gone, while the Rockets needed a second shot creator and were willing to take on the salary. It seemed to push the Rockets into the realm of contenders for the title.

But it was a gamble, and sometimes the dice come up snake eyes. Lawson is averaging 5.9 points a game, shooting 32.9 percent from the field, he has a career-low PER of 7.9, and the Rockets are 8.6 points per 100 possession better when he is off the court than on it. Pair Lawson with James Harden and the Rockets get outscored by 6.3 per 100. All of it was part of reason former coach Kevin McHale has a lot more free time this holiday season.

So the Rockets started testing the trade waters for Lawson, but they do not run very deep, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

Even the Rockets, who have a long track record of expertly drumming up leverage in seemingly desperate trade scenarios, will struggle to find Lawson a new home. The trade market for him is minimal, league sources tell CBS Sports, and the best move for Houston might be to hold onto him…..

“The only team that makes sense already has [Rajon] Rondo,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “There’s no market.”

 

Morey can be patient and see if injury or something else opens up across the league, but the bottom line is — just like talk of moving Dwight Howard — it takes two to tango, and he is going to struggle to find a dance partner. In the case of Lawson we are discussing a player is coming off a couple of rough seasons now, some off the court issues, and with most teams being set at the point guard spot there isn’t a lot of market.

The fact Lawson makes $12.4 million adds to the challenge for Morey, someone is going to have to give him something of value back to get Lawson, and why would anyone do that? The only advantage is that the final season of Lawson’s deal is non-guaranteed, so it is essentially an expiring contract. But that isn’t enough to get it moved.

The trend around the league right now is that there are far more buyers than sellers on the trade market (because so many teams still have a shot at the playoffs), and the teams that are selling are pushing players such as Lawson that draw little interest.

Kobe Bryant expected to play Tuesday night against Denver

Kobe Bryant
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DENVER (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott says he expects Kobe Bryant to play Tuesday night against Denver after sitting out the last game with a sore right shoulder.

Scott says Bryant will arrive at Pepsi Center a little earlier than normal to “get some shots up.” He cautioned Bryant not to take too many shots, though, just enough to “see how it feels and to gauge where the pain is, if there’s any. But he said he’s definitely 100 percent ready to go.”

Bryant didn’t play in Oklahoma City on Saturday, two days after dunking for the first time this season against Houston.

The 37-year-old Bryant leads the team in scoring at 16.7 points per game. He announced last month he was retiring after the season.

PBT Extra: Will Russell Westbrook stop being criticized for taking over?

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There was a time that Russell Westbrook was criticized for not willingly being Robin to Kevin Durant‘s Batman.

Then with Durant out injured much of last season, Westbrook put up numbers that put him in the MVP conversation and a lot of casual fans (and some casual talking heads) started to realize: Oklahoma City had two Batmen. That’s the topic of this latest PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.

In the Thunder’s victory over the Clippers Monday night, Durant had the game winner (and block) but it was Westbrook who was the fulcrum for the team much of the night, finishing with 33 points and controlling the offense in a great duel with Chris Paul. If the Thunder are going to have a shot at the Warriors and Spurs, they will need both of their stars (and a little more help than they are getting right now).

Jenna and I also discuss where the Clippers fall in the West. And sometimes fall seems the key word.