Central Notes: Haslam, Hield, Omoruyi, Bulls

Appearing at the NFL owners’ meetings in Arizona this week, Jimmy Haslam spoke publicly for the first time about his impeding purchase of Marc Lasry‘s stake in the Bucks, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Because the sale hasn’t been officially finalized, Haslam declined to get into specifics, but he did tell reporters that Bucks co-owner Wes Edens would reclaim his role as the team’s governor while the Haslams learn the ropes of NBA ownership. Under the previous agreement, Edens and Lasry traded the governor title every five years — Edens held it from 2014-19.

Haslam, the owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns along with his wife Dee, described his purchase of a stake in the Bucks as “opportunistic,” Owczarski relays.

“I mean listen, we never thought we’d own 10% of the Steelers. Never thought we’d own the Browns. Dee and I had never been, beside watching (daughter) Whitney play high school soccer, had never been to a soccer game,” said Haslam, who also owns the Columbus Crew (MLS). “So it’s just opportunistic. It was straightened set of circumstances; we were called on this opportunity. Business, sports, you tend to be optimistic. I have no idea what will happen next. First thing’s first, let’s get this done and then let’s get the Browns winning games.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield was sidelined for Monday’s game due to a non-COVID illness, marking just the fourth time since he entered the NBA in 2016 that he has missed a game, writes Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Hield started Indiana’s first 73 games this season, but has come off the bench since then so that the team can get a look at different lineup combinations, with an eye toward next season, tweets Agness.
  • According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link), Eugene Omoruyi‘s new contract with the Pistons covers two seasons — it’s guaranteed for the rest of 2022/23, with a team option for ’23/24. In order to give Omoruyi more than the prorated minimum for the rest of this season, Detroit used a portion of its room exception to complete the signing, Hoops Rumors has learned. Instead of the $169,445 he would’ve gotten on a minimum-salary deal, the 26-year-old received $269,445 for ’22/23.
  • With the Trail Blazers set to miss the postseason again, the Bulls won’t get the lottery-protected first-round pick owed to them by Portland this season, and Chicago’s own top-four protected first-rounder appears ticketed for Orlando. However, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago wonders if the Bulls could end up with a first-rounder in 2023 by negotiating a trade with the Blazers, who are on track to receive the Knicks’ first-round pick. As Johnson observes, Portland may want to reacquire its own first-rounder, which remains lottery-protected through 2028, in order to regain flexibility for future trades.
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