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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

NBA Can Buy Back Bucks If No Arena Deal In Place By Nov. 2017

If a deal to build a new arena is not in place by November 2017, the NBA has the right to buy back the Milwaukee Bucks from incoming owners Wesley Edens and Mark Lasry.

Sources told ESPN.com that the sale agreement announced last week to transfer the Bucks from longtime owner Herb Kohl to Edens and Lasry for a purchase price of $550 million includes a provision that allows the league to buy back the team for $575 million.

This provision ensures that the NBA would control the fate of the franchise from that point as opposed to Edens and Lasry.

Edens and Lasry agreed last week to pay a league-record $550 million to Kohl for the Bucks and promised to contribute an additional $100 million toward a new arena. 

Via Brian Windhorst, Marc Stein/ESPN

New Bucks' Owners Hope To Follow Model Of Spurs, Thunder

Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, prospective owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, acknowledged that they will be inheriting a franchise with the worst record in the NBA, a small market and the need for a new arena.

"First of all, I love underdogs, and I think Marc loves underdogs. The notion of buying into a team at this time in some respects is perfect. There is no doubt there is a tremendous fan base in Milwaukee and in the Wisconsin area for sports. All you have to do is look at the attendance figures for the Brewers. Go to a Packers game. There is no doubt there is a huge fan interest for it. We just have to create a product that everybody is excited about...In the NBA you can become competitive in a very short time if you get the right people in charge and you get the right players on the court playing the right way. I think it's a great opportunity."

"I agree with Wes," said Lasry. "Part of this for us, you can only go up, right? If you look at this, if we do the right things. If we pick the right players. If everything works the way hopefully it will and we can follow the model of San Antonio or the (Oklahoma City) Thunder. I think, look, all everybody wants is the same thing we do. Everybody just wants a winner.

"If you're winning, people show up. If you're losing, people get discouraged."

Via Don Walker/Journal Sentinel

NBA Salary Cap Projected To Increase By 7.7 Percent

The NBA 2014-15 salary cap is now projected to be $63.2 million and the tax level is projected to be $77.0 million. The numbers for 2015-16 are now projected to be $66.5 million and $81.0 million, respectively.

The official numbers won't come out until July when the NBA conducts its audit.

The salary cap and luxury tax values for the current season are $58.679 million and $71.748 million, respectively, which means the new cap projection for next season represents a 7.7% increase over this season. 

The original revenue forecast for 2014-15 was $4.66 billion, so with an actual revenue of $4.75 billion, the players would get 60.5% of the difference, or $54.45 million, on top of their 50% guarantee ($2,33 billion), for a total of about $2.384 billion. 

The increase could make signing Carmelo Anthony far more viable for the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls.

Via Larry Coon/CBAFaq

LeBron, Durant, Kobe, Rose, Curry Have NBA's Best-Selling Jerseys

LeBron James has the NBA's best-selling jersey, beating out Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry.

Bryant and Rose played in just 16 combined games.

James has finished with the top-selling jersey in six of his 11 seasons in the NBA.

Via Darren Rovell/ESPN

Bucks Sold For $550M To Edens, Lasry

Herb Kohl has reached a deal to sell the Milwaukee Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 million.

Kohl made keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee a condition of the sale.

Edens and Lasry are hedge fund billionaires.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Kevin Johnson To Lead Search Committee For New NBPA Executive Director

Kevin Johnson has been hired to lead the search committee for the NBPA's new executive director.

Johnson is currently the mayor of Sacramento and is a former NBA All-Star.

Johnson was once thought to be a candidate for the job replacing Billy Hunter.

Hunter was fired approximately 20 months ago.

Via Howard Beck/Bleacher Report

Larry Sanders Advocates For Medical Benefits Of Marijuana

Larry Sanders will abide by the terms of his five-game suspension for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program, but defends marijuana for its medical benefits.

“It’s something I feel strongly about, just to let you know something personal about me,” Sanders told NBA.com and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel prior to the Bucks’ game against Chicago at United Center Friday. “I will deal with the consequences from it. It’s a banned substance in my league. But I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it.

“I know what it is if I’m going to use it. I study it and I know the benefits it has. In a lot of ways we’ve been deprived. You can’t really label it with so many other drugs that people can be addicted to and have so many negative effects on your body and your family and your relationships and impairment. This is not the same thing.”

Sanders’ suspension means he has failed three tests in his career.

Sanders said he was out for the rest of the season, which could push his suspension to the start of the 14-15 season.

Sanders views marijuana as similar to drinking alcohol.

“The great thing about that idea is that, then you could get prescribed for it and see a doctor and they could tell you,” he said. “You don’t have to self-medicate, you don’t have to over-medicate ourselves. Y’know, because we don’t know now. We can’t diagnose ourselves.

“Once it becomes legal … you sit down with a doctor and [he says], ‘You may need this three times a day. This dosage here.’ And you don’t over-medicate. It [addresses] those needs medically that you need. It’s natural.”

Via Steve Aschburner/NBA.com

Nets Not In Process Of Becoming Russian-Based

Mikhail Prokhorov backed away from his claim that the NBA had given him permission to make the Brooklyn Nets a Russian-based company without admitting that he had ever made it.

His company, Onexim Sports and Entertainment, issued a statement that described how during preliminary discussions with the NBA in the spring of 2013, the league “indicated its willingness to work with us in the event we need to re-register the ownership vehicle of the Nets as a Russian entity to comply with the Russian law regarding candidates for political office.”

The statement added, “This is a long process which may or may not come to fruition, and nothing is imminent.”

Making the Nets a Russian company might help Prokhorov’s political prospects.

Via Richard Sandomir/New York Times
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