The Hawks lost an estimated $23.9MM on their basketball operations last season, a figure partially offset by $11MM in combined proceeds from luxury tax payouts and the league’s revenue-sharing plan, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. The Bucks, who went for $550MM this spring, lost an estimated $6.5MM, but revenue sharing lifted them to a profit, Lowe also reveals. Still, the NBA and its television partners are expected to strike a deal that would give the league an average of more than $2 billion a year, up from $930MM in the current agreement, as John Lombardo and John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal report. The NBA is a hot property, but while outgoing owner Bruce Levenson has the controlling stake in the Hawks, he doesn’t have the majority share, Lowe notes. It remains to be seen whether the Hawks sale will reap a figure close to the $2 billion Steve Ballmer paid for the Clippers, the Bucks sale price, or an entirely different number, but as we wait to see, here’s more from the East:
- Knicks owner James Dolan and team president Phil Jackson have agreed to keep the existing front office staff in place for a year, a source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post. The club hasn’t let go of any front office personnel since Jackson’s hiring, and the only addition has been Clarence Gaines Jr., who serves as an adviser to Jackson, Berman points out. Rick Fox said Sunday that he’d be interested in joining the organization, though there’s been no movement toward that end, as Berman chronicles.
- Otis Smith confirms that he and Pistons president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy discussed making Smith the team’s GM, a job that instead went to Jeff Bower, but Smith told Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel that the timing wasn’t right (Twitter links). “I don’t think I’m ready to go back to NBA,” said Smith, the former Magic GM who joined the Pistons as the coach of their D-League team.
- Greg Stiemsma‘s one-year deal for the minimum salary with the Raptors is indeed partially guaranteed, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link).