The success of the summer league in Las Vegas has created hopes that the city may one day have its own NBA team, writes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Former commissioner David Stern planted the seed during a 2007 meeting with Mayor Oscar Goodman, and the annual summertime gathering has strengthened the city’s position. The 20,000-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena is large enough to house an NBA franchise, and the NHL has started to break down the Las Vegas barrier, announcing recently that the city is a candidate for a future expansion team, along with Seattle and Quebec City. City officials should be patient, though. Celtics president Rich Gotham pointed out that the league has no immediate plans for expansion and that sentiment remains high to put a team in Seattle.
There’s more from around the world of basketball:
- The Jazz have offered a partially guaranteed contract to forward Brock Motum, tweets Angus Crawford of NBA.com/Australia. Team officials were impressed by his play in the summer league. Motum is “strongly” considering Utah’s offer, but is also listening to teams in Europe (Twitter link).
- Former Hornet Jeffery Taylor has turned down an offer from Maccabi of the Israeli Premier League, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. The news was relayed by Taylor’s agent, Todd Ramasar.
- The new contract that Miroslav Raduljica signed with Panathinaikos in the Greek League includes a $500K escape clause, according to Pick (Twitter link). The Serbian briefly played for the Wolves last season.
- The NBA is risking its historic success with tough labor talk, writes Tim Bontemps of The New York Post. Both the league and the players’ union issued statements this week, reminding everyone that a potential lockout is just two years away.
- Sixteen teams still have not used their $2.814MM room exception, tweets former Nets executive Bobby Marks.