Kurt Helin

bucks arena rendering

Milwaukee arena financing plan takes step forward, passes state Senate

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Owners current and former of the Milwaukee Bucks have put up $250 million of their money to get a new arena built for the Bucks — something that, if it doesn’t happen, could see the team moving out of state, the team president threatened.

Getting the arena built is going to require another $250 million in state money, something Governor (and presidential candidate) Scott Walker put together a plan to do. However, that plan has to get through the Wisconsin legislature. And while Commissioner Adam Silver supports the plan, not everyone supports public money for arenas.

The Governor’s plan cleared the first hurdle Wednesday when the state Senate approved the measure by a 21-10 vote. The Bucks released this statement from team president Peter Feigin:

“Today’s vote is a significant step forward in our collective effort to build a new sports and entertainment district in Wisconsin. We appreciate the bipartisan leadership in Madison for bringing this transformative partnership one step closer to reality. We’re optimistic that this financing package will receive support in the Assembly and look forward to working with state, county and city officials.”

Bucks co-owner Alexander Lasry tweeted this about the vote:

The state Assembly will take up the issue this week. If it clears that house, the Governor will sign it and the arena will break ground relatively quickly.

Republicans in Wisconsin are the majority and back the plan, but need to get some Democrats on board to make it pass. If you are into the minutia of Wisconsin politics and the horse trading that will go on to get this deal done (or not), this Journal-Sentinel article can explain the details that I’m not going to bother to.

Adam Silver fought to keep the Kings in Sacramento (while Deputy Commissioner he helped make that push) but the new owner and state legislature there were able to get a deal done to build a new arena (which will open for the 2016-17 season).

If this arena deal doesn’t get done, then things will get very interesting. The NBA has the right under the terms of the sale of the team to buy it back from the current owners (at $25 million more than they paid for it) and find another owner. That might be tough to do in state, but there would be a line of people willing to move the team. Not that the threat of moving a squad is a good reason to put public money into an arena that will make billionaires richer.

Nets’ Thomas Robinson has arthroscopic knee surgery, will be ready for training camp

Brooklyn Nets New Player Portraits
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Thomas Robinson hasn’t lived up to the hype of being the No. 5 pick in the draft three years ago. However, the guy still has some value — he grabbed 22.6 percent of the available rebounds when he was on the court for the Sixers last season, plus he averaged 8.8 points a game in 18.5 minutes a night.

He started to rehab his image in Philly, which is why the Nets — a team in desperate need of youth and athleticism (and hope for the future) — snatched him up this summer.

Robinson injured himself working out in New York and on Wednesday underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, the team announced.

Robinson had a torn meniscus repaired and is expected to be ready for training camp next fall.

It will be interesting to see if Robinson will be able to get minutes at the four with Thaddeus Young, Andrea Bargnani, and Willie Reed also all battling for minutes there.

Matt Bonner re-signs with the Spurs. And all is right with the world.

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Four
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The Spurs will still know all the best places to get a good sandwich while on the road.

Matt Bonner — the veteran floor-spacing big man and self-made sandwich expert — has re-signed with the Spurs for another season. The story was broken by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News and since confirmed by the team.

This is a one-year deal for the veteran minimum.

Bonner averaged 13 minutes a night in 72 games for San Antonio last season (starting 19) and shot 36.5 percent from three, down from his career 41 percent average, but that was due to the iPhone 6.

He is player 14 under contract for the Spurs next season, don’t expect any more additions to walk through that door.

Mark Cuban, Steve Ballmer talk, clear the air

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game Two
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Mark Cuban has decided the best way to communicate directly with Mavs fans — and promote his app at the same time — is to post things on Cyber Dust.

He did that again on Wednesday, discussing a meeting he had with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, clearing the air over DeAndre Jordan and his decision to go back on a verbal commitment to the Mavs and re-sign with the Clippers. That move and the NBA signing moratorium have been the talk of Summer League in Las Vegas, and Cuban addressed both.

Here is what Cuban said, via the Dallas Morning News.

Hey mavs fans. So I had a nice conversation with Steve Ballmer, owner of the Clippers yesterday during our NBA meetings.

It started off more than a little frigid , but we both cleared the air on a few things.

I told him exactly what I told other owners, I didn’t have a problem with his hail Mary approach to keeping a player. I understood why they did it. And even how they did it. They got their player back. End of story.

They are still a few unresolved issues that the NBA will have to work through but one I don’t feel is an issue is the moratorium .

Nothing that happened with this deal was the result of the moratorium

The thing about the NBA is that you don’t know which deals are the good deals and which arrows you avoided till you start playing the games

My guess is that we open the season against the Clippers. That’s when the real fun will being

+letsgomavs

I want the Mavs and Clippers on Christmas Day, too.

While there was some concern in some front offices about the moratorium, the fact is there were too many hurdles to clear to get it changed. It would have required getting the majority of GMs/league officials on the competition committee to agree on a change, then getting a majority of owners to sign off on it, then negotiating it with the NBA players union (where Chris Paul is the president). Good luck with all that.

Next year the moratorium is two days longer than this year.

Expect this one change — teams that get an early commitment from a free agent will not stop recruiting and will babysit their stars right up to the signing day.

Report: Cavaliers, Matthew Dellavedova still well apart on new contract

2015 NBA Finals - Game Three
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Matthew Dellavedova was the breakout star of the first three games of the NBA Finals — his grit and tenacity was at the heart of Cleveland’s post-injuries grinding style. He was doing as well defending Stephen Curry as can be humanly expected. Well, until  Curry figured him and the Cavaliers out near the end of Game 3 (by Game 4 the Warriors had solved the riddle, and it was all over but the buckets). Walk around Cleveland and only LeBron James got more love than Delly.

But a few games of playoff success should not be confused with future earnings.

The Cavaliers and Dellavedova both want reach a new deal that keeps the reserve point guard being the guy off the bench behind Kyrie Irving (Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, the Cavs can match any offer he gets). But they are nowhere near a deal, reports Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

Not much movement between the Cavaliers and Matthew Dellavedova on a new contract. A restricted free agent, Dellavedova is seeking a multiyear deal starting at $4 million per season, per a source, and the Cavs have balked, largely due to the enormous luxury tax implications that come with that type of contract. The market has largely dried up—Jeremy Lin’s deal with Charlotte closed a potential door—so it will be interesting to see how long this stalemate continues. Paging LeBron James.

It’s was always going to be hard for Dellavedova (or, more accurately, his agent) to secure an offer sheet from another team for the point guard because teams assumed the Cavs would just match. Why tie up your cap space for a few days to offer a player you’re not going to get?

Then there is the financial issue, which former Nets executive Bobby Marks explained (follow that game one twitter).

Yikes. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is going to be writing a payroll check in likely more than $200 million next season, once you figure in luxury taxes. To his credit, he didn’t balk at maxing out Kevin Love (or LeBron) and he the Cavs have spent to deepen the bench. But he’s drawing the line at overpaying for Tristan Thompson (who reportedly wants Draymond Green money) or Dellavedova.

Those guys are fan favorites, and more importantly LeBron favorites. But how much luxury tax do you want to pay for them?