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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Thunder, Bucks Join 76ers In Opposing Lottery Reform

The Oklahoma City Thunder have joined the Philadelphia 76ers in opposing the NBA's proposed changes to the draft lottery system, according to a report from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that the Milwaukee Bucks will also oppose the proposal.

Sam Presti has attempted to warn other small-market executives that changing the system is a risky proposition for their franchises.

Uner the proposed new system, the worst four teams have a 12 percent chance at the first pick, No. 5 has an 11.5 percent chance, No. 6, 10 percent, and on down.

The changes have been triggered by a response to the 76ers' pursuit of high draft picks in successive seasons.

Presti's belief is that the changes would give big market teams another advantage.

"Everyone is too focused on Philly, on one team in one situation," said one sympathetic GM. "The only chance for a lot of teams to ever get a transformational player is through the draft, and eventually we are all going to be in the lottery, in that spot. The teams that'll drop from two to eight, or three to nine – that's just going to take the air out of those fan bases and franchises. They'll get little, if any chance, to improve.

"We are going to see more big-market teams who just missed the playoffs jump up and get a great young player at the top of the draft. And people are going to go "What the [expletive] just happened?"

The 76ers and Thunder need six more teams to join them in opposing the rule change before Wednesday's vote.

As one Western Conference GM said, "Then there will be no going back. I hope we know what we're doing with this one."

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Players Association Preparing To Opt Out Of CBA In 2017

The National Basketball Players Association negotiated a drop in their percentage of basketball related income from 57 percent to 49-51 percent.

“I can certainly appreciate why (the players) are not happy," said Michele Roberts. "That’s a lot of money. And it’s hard for me to be critical because I wasn’t in the room, so I cannot say that it was something that was avoidable. But it’s certainly not a happy turn of events, and I get why the players are not of the view that they came out winners.”

With the NBA signing a new television deal and becoming incredibly more profitable than they were in 2011, the NBPA is preparing to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement when that option becomes available in 2017.

“We are preparing to opt out. I mean it’s not my call., because unlike Billy I don’t think I run the union. This union is run by the executive committee, I serve at their pleasure, and I do what they command I do. I advise, and I will recommend. But at the end of the day, it’s not Michele Roberts saying to the executive committee: ‘Look, guys, get ready. We’re opting out.’ It doesn’t work  that way. So it’s not my call, but in the event the call is made, we will be ready. And we are preparing to opt out.”

Via Chris Sheridan/Sheridan Hoops

Michele Roberts Offended By Premise Of Max Contracts

New NBPA executive director Michele Roberts was asked this week to share her thoughts on maximum salaries in the NBA.

“I have difficulty with rules that suggest that for some reason, in this space, we are not going to allow you to do what is ordinarily allowed in every other aspect of American life – you can work and get compensated at the level that someone thinks you’re worth being compensated at," said Roberts.

"And for all the reasons that it might be reasonable, it still – as a base – the premise offends me. So for me, there needs to be a justification that is substantial. And I’m told that in large part it’s because there’s an inability on the part of some owners to control their check-writing habits. So that’s where I am. Now, there’s a history that led up to max contracts, and I’m not going to pretend it’s not significant. But if you ask me off the cuff, that’s my response.”

Via Chris Sheridan/Sheridan Hoops

Chris Webber Involved In Prospective Hawks' Ownership Group

Chris Webber is a member of a potential ownership group that has interest in purchasing the Atlanta Hawks, according to sources.

Webber would have a modest financial investment in the partnership, but is expected to emerge as a face of the bid with an ultimate goal of becoming a prominent figure on the basketball side for the Hawks.

Webber has had a home in Atlanta for the past decade and has been working to connect with community officials and organizations to make a case for reselling the organization to an increasingly dubious public.

The Hawks are moving toward a sale because of a racially insensitive email that surfaced from majority owner Bruce Levenson to ownership partners and his front office. 

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Kobe: Players, Owners Both Overpaid; Fight Is For Your Market Value

Like every player in the NBA, Kobe Bryant took notice of the new television deal that will result in a substantial increase in basketball related income.

"Listen: business is business," Bryant said. "I think people get that confused very easily in understanding that players should take substantially less than their market value in order to win championships." 

Bryant signed a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013 worth $48.5 million.

"I think as players, you've kind of got to hold your ground a little bit and not be afraid of what the public perception is," Bryant said. "Instead, you try to educate the public a little bit and understand it's not about complaining about how much you're making, because that's ridiculous. We are overpaid, but so are the owners. And you have to fight for what your market value is."

Via Baxter Holmes/ESPN

NBA Moving Its Own Logo To Back Of Jerseys Next Season

The NBA is moving its logo patch to the back of team jerseys next season, citing stylistic reasons.

The switch comes as league owners consider whether to put advertisements on uniforms for the first time. Adam Silver has previously said that advertisements on jerseys will likely happen within five years.

The NBA’s teams collectively may reap about $100 million annually in revenue from jersey ads, the league has said.

Via Scott Soshnick/Bloomberg

NBA Held TV Talks With Fox, NBC, Google, Apple

While the NBA's preference was to remain with ESPN and Turner for their new television deals, Adam Silver had several conversations with executives from Fox and NBC, as well as Google and Apple, in the weeks after the All-Star Game in February.

Silver sent word to Skipper that ESPN’s bid would have to be in the neighborhood of $1.4 billion per year over nine years to renew. The number was nearly three times more than the $485 million average that it’s paying in the current deal, but ESPN quickly agreed.

Via John Lombardo, John Ourand/Sports Business Journal

Durant Disagrees With Cuban On Non-Guaranteed Deals

Kevin Durant strongly dismissed the suggestion from Mark Cuban that the players exchange guaranteed money in the new collective bargaining agreement.

"I don't think that makes sense," Durant said Friday. "Give up guarantees? Nah, I don't think so. Why? Why would we do that? Just because we asked for ... I'm not going to talk about this, man."

Durant said he had a lot to say on the subject, but said it wasn't the appropriate time for him to express those thoughts publicly.

Via Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Durant: Superstar Players Worth More Than They're Making

Kevin Durant was asked his opinion on the possibility of the NBA eliminating the maximum contract.

LeBron James has long expressed his belief that players like him are underpaid relative to other players.

“Look at it like this,” Durant explained. “Kobe Bryant brings in a lot of money to Los Angeles, that downtown area. People go to watch the Lakers. Clippers are getting up there, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and those guys are bringing in a lot of money as well. Look at Cleveland, look at Miami when LeBron was there. These guys are worth more than what they are making because of the amount of money they bring to that area. That’s a conversation you can always have, but until it’s changed you never know what will happen to it.”

Via Anthony Slater/Oklahoman

Cap Could Jump In Single Season More Than Previous 10-Year Period

The NBA salary cap over the last 10 years jumped from $49.5 million to $63.2 million, a 28 percent increase.

It stayed flat at around $58 million for a half decade before finally leaping about $5 million this season due to an uptick in revenue. 

The league right now projects a jump to $66.5 million for 2015-16, a modest rise pegged to the final year of that modest $930 million TV deal.

If the new TV deal kicks in for the 2016-17 season just shy of $2 billion, the cap could exceed that same $14 million leap, all the way to around $80-plus million, in a single year.

If it started at that exact $2.68 billion figure, it would likely break $90 million.

Via Zach Lowe/Grantland

Nine NBA Teams Lost Money On Basketball-Related Activities

Eight of those teams lost $13 million or less.

NBA Agrees Upon Nine-Year $24B Deal With ESPN, TNT Through 24-25

The NBA has reached agreement on a long-term media rights deal with ESPN and TNT that will double the fees of the existing deal.

Board Of Governors To Vote On Lottery Reform

The tweaks will include the four worst teams having an equal 12 percent chance to win the No. 1 overall pick and the worst team could fall no lower than No. 7.

Nets In Talks With Guggenheim On 'Combination Of Assets'

Mikhail Prokhorov would remain in control of the Nets, say sources close to the discussions.

NBA Considered Eliminating Multiple Free Throw Attempts

A player fouled in the act of shooting or in a penalty situation would shoot a single free throw that would be worth two points.

K.J. McDaniels Agrees Upon One-Year Tender With 76ers As 2nd Round Pick

K.J. McDaniels is taking less money upfront from Sam Hinkie and the 76ers to become a free agent sooner.

NBA To Review Domestic Violence Policies

Silver said Monday the league has been discussing with the Players Association ways to further educate players and provide programs to them and their families.
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