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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Mark Cuban Proposes Conference Realignment

Mark Cuban has come up with a proposal for conference realignment in which eight teams would change conferences.

In Cuban's plan, the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans would move to the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks would move to the West.

"It's not like it'd be the first time we've ever realigned," Cuban said. "It's happened many times before, so there's precedent and I just think it shakes things up and makes things interesting."

Adam Silver has been receptive to ideas that would address the issue of the West being a significantly deeper, stronger conference than the East. One idea that has been floated is to have a 16-team playoff bracket that does not take conferences into consideration.

Via Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Kobe Considers Hometown Discounts As 'Big Coup' For Owners

Kobe Bryant considers the public pressure for longtime players of a specific team to take less money, as Dirk Nowitzki has done with the Dallas Mavericks, as a "big coup" for NBA owners.

"It's the popular thing to do," Bryant said. "The player takes less, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I think it's a big coup for the owners to put players in situations where public perception puts pressure on them to take less money. Because if you don't, then you get criticized for it.

"It's absolutely brilliant, but I'm not going for it. I know the new head of the players' association ain't going for it, either."

Nowitzki signed with the Mavericks for $25 million over three years.

"I wanted to be on a good team," Nowitzki said. "I wanted to compete my last couple of years at the highest level. Ever since after the championship, we had a couple of rough years. We missed the playoffs one year, were the eighth seed twice I think, so that was really the main decision.

"I wanted to play at a high level my last couple years, and it kind of worked out with getting Parsons, with getting Tyson back here. We feel like we've got a good group, and hopefully we can make it work."

Via Tim MacMahon/ESPN

NBPA Hires Chrysa Chin To Better Manage Players

The National Basketball Players Association has hired Chrysa Chin to become the executive vice president of strategy and development.

Chin held the same position with the NBA

Chin has served as a league liaison for players and is often seen consulting prospects on draft night. 

The hiring of Chin indicates that the NBPA is serious about better managing its constituents, many of whom had become disenchanted under Billy Hunter.

Via Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Kevin Garnett Interested In Purchasing Wolves When He Retires

Kevin Garnett is interested in becoming an NBA owner when he retires as a player and would like to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"I want to buy the Timberwolves. Put a group together and perhaps some day try to buy the team. That's what I want," Garnett said.

Garnett was drafted by the Wolves in the 1995 NBA Draft and spent 12 seasons there before being traded to the Boston Celtics.

The Timberwolves were valued at $430 million in January, according to Forbes Magazine. The next NBA television contract will be extremely lucrative and is expected to raise the price of the franchise. 

Garnett has made $315 million during his career and has also earned millions in endorsements.

"He would be one of the best owners in the NBA because he understands what the players need and he understands what it takes to be successful in the NBA,” Billy King told Yahoo Sports.

Glen Taylor told the Associated Press on May that he was looking to add a minority partner who would hold an option to buy him out. Taylor also made it clear he is committed to keeping the team in Minnesota.

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Silver Writes NYTimes Op-Ed In Favor Of Legalization, Regulation Of Sports Betting

Adam Silver has written an op-ed in the New York Times in favor of legalization and regulation of sports betting in the United States.

"Betting on professional sports is currently illegal in most of the United States outside of Nevada. I believe we need a different approach," writes Silver.

"For more than two decades, the National Basketball Association has opposed the expansion of legal sports betting, as have the other major professional sports leagues in the United States. In 1992, the leagues supported the passage by Congress of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or Paspa, which generally prohibits states from authorizing sports betting.

"But despite legal restrictions, sports betting is widespread. It is a thriving underground business that operates free from regulation or oversight. Because there are few legal options available, those who wish to bet resort to illicit bookmaking operations and shady offshore websites. There is no solid data on the volume of illegal sports betting activity in the United States, but some estimate that nearly $400 billion is illegally wagered on sports each year."

This position from Silver represents a willingness to think outside its long-held positions. The NBA reached agreement on a deal with FanDuel this week, which is a daily sports fantasy site.

"Let me be clear: Any new approach must ensure the integrity of the game," continued Silver at the end of the piece. "One of my most important responsibilities as commissioner of the N.B.A. is to protect the integrity of professional basketball and preserve public confidence in the league and our sport. I oppose any course of action that would compromise these objectives.

"But I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated."

Via RealGM Staff Report

Silver Strongly Disagrees With Roberts On Owners Being Replaceable

Adam Silver and the NBA responded to statements made by NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts in which she said the salary cap is "un-American" and that the owners are replaceable.

"We couldn't disagree more with these statements," wrote Silver. "The NBA's success is based on the collective efforts and investments of the team owers, the thousands of employees at our teams and arenas, and our extraordinarily talented players. No single group could accomplish this on its own. Nor is there anything unusual or "un-American" in a unionized industry to have a collective system for paying employees - in fact, that's the norm.

"The Salary Cap system, which splits revenues between team owners and players has been agreed upon by the NBA and the Players Association since 1982, has served as a foundation for the growth of the league and has enabled NBA players to become the highest paid professional athletes in the world."

Via RealGM Staff Report

Roberts: NBA Owners Are Replaceable

Michele Roberts expressed objections to the concept of an NBA salary cap, while also indicating that she's planning on pushing for more than 50-50 split of basketball-related income.

"Why don't we have the owners play half the games?" Roberts said, speaking in her Harlem office to ESPN The Magazine. "There would be no money if not for the players."

"Let's call it what it is. There. Would. Be. No. Money," she added, pausing for emphasis. "Thirty more owners can come in, and nothing will change. These guys [the players] go? The game will change. So let's stop pretending."

Given the context of a nine-year, $24 billion TV deal set to begin in 2016, and the players' ability to opt out of the league's collective bargaining agreement after the 2016-17 season, Roberts' relatively radical perspective could prove to be just as profound a change.

"I don't know of any space other than the world of sports where there's this notion that we will artificially deflate what someone's able to make, just because," she said, talking about a salary cap -- a collectively bargained policy that, in its current form, has constrained team spending in the NBA since 1984-85. "It's incredibly un-American. My DNA is offended by it."

Via Pablo S. Torre/ESPN

NBA Agrees To Four-Year Deal With FanDuel

The NBA and FanDuel have agreed upon a four-year deal for the daily fantasy sports company to become their official provider.

The NBA will receive equity in FanDuel as part of the deal.

DraftKings were also in talks with the NBA.

Via Eric Fisher/Sports Business Journal

Prokhorov Willing To Sell Part Of Nets But Won't Give Up Ownership Control

Mikhail Prokhorov isn't actively shopping his stake in the Brooklyn Nets, but he says he will listen to offers.

Prokhorov spoke to reporters on Monday for the first time since January.

“My position is that I will not give up control of the team,” he said. “But you know, I am quite happy when somebody sending me a nice offer without taking my control of team.

“I think, for the time being, nothing is imminent, but still I think it’s not bad just to listen.”

Prokhorov has rationalized spending more money than any other owner on his roster in recent seasons without actually contending for a title.

“We have a great development of our brand,” Prokhorov said. “Sports aren’t predictable and we need to be patient, but I will do as much as I can do just to reach a championship.”

Via Tim Bontemps/New York Post

Roberts: Players Won't Buy Owners' Cries Of Poverty

Adam Silver's recently declared that "roughly a third" of NBA teams are still losing money, but Michele Roberts isn't buying the commissioner's claims.

"The NBA's cries of poverty will not work this time," said Roberts, who was recently named executive director of the NBPA.

Both sides are preparing for a battle in 2017 over the collective bargaining agreement.

"I can say that I was more than surprised," Roberts told Yahoo Sports in an interview. "I am not suggesting that Adam is telling a lie. I am sure that the owners told him that. But it's difficult for me to believe that, especially after looking at the 2011 CBA negotiations and seeing all the money the players don't have now. There's $1.1 billion that the players would've been otherwise entitled. 

"I find it very difficult to appreciate how any owners could suggest they're still losing money. It defies common sense. We know what the franchise values are. I don't have to say '$2 billion' again and again, do I? 

"The gate receipts, the media deals. What else do you need to make money? We are not going to reengage in a process where this happens again. The NBA's cries of poverty will not fly this time."

Roberts is also skeptical of the NBA's idea of "smoothing" the salary cap.

Silver's idea, he said, is to "make a shortfall-payment directly to the union, and then they would then distribute that money, presumably proportionately to the players."

Roberts flatly said: "I am suspicious of any proposal where the model is based upon artificial decreases of the compensation that an individual player can negotiate.

"Historically, when salary has gone up for some, it has gone up for all. If you're not a free agent now, you may be one next year when the salary cap remains high. I have significant concerns over this."

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Silver Prefers Relocation Over Expansion, '30 Teams Feels Right'

With franchise valuations at an all-time, expansion would give other NBA owners an instant influx of cash.

At Least Two Western Conference Teams Pushed For Top-16 Playoff System

The idea does not appear to have much traction at this point.
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