Contrary to reports, Jeanie Buss says the money from the Time Warner deal is set, guaranteed regardless of ratings. The stakes, and consequences, however, are still high. “The team is obviously not doing as well this year — injuries and whatnot. Knock on wood, so far the effect [on business] hasn’t been horrible,” says Lakers COO/senior VP of business operations Tim Harris. “You look at the key indicators: OK, how are the ratings? The ratings are a little down.12 They are down relative to the Lakers, but they are still strong relative to an NBA team. Sponsorship interest is up. That’s good. The big indicator is tickets, and so far we are holding our own. Yeah, there are some soft nights every now and again, but by and large the interest is maintained. Now, if the team stays exactly where they are now, and you and I are having this conversation in another year, am I gonna say the same thing? I don’t know.”
May 29, 2016 | 2:15 pm EDT Update
In recent days, estimates of Biyombo’s 2016-17 free-agent salary as the result of his playoff emergence have ranged from $15 million to $18 million, or possibly beyond. “To me,” the scout said, “that is a total reach. I’d say $12 million, and a good portion of that is the bump up from there’s a lot of money available. There’s an over-priced factor. But $17 million? $18 million? That’s absurd.”
But not, he said, for Whiteside, with a potential $22 million NBA-maximum certainly within the realm for the Heat free agent. “From what people told me, yes,” the scout said. “But he is more than that. He is a much better version than Biyombo. He can score. You’re not playing four on five.”
May 29, 2016 | 1:04 pm EDT Update
As the NBA enters it’s bubble economy phase (the salary cap is expected to rise by more than $20 million this season and another $20 million the following year) DeRozan will be offered a maximum contract by at least one team – four years and roughly $107 million – and probably more. The NBA grapevine is rife with intelligence saying that his hometown Lakers will offer him the moon. No one would be surprised if Bryan Colangelo – the man who drafted him – will try to lure him to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Head coach Tab Baldwin said the Fil-Am guard could not participate in live scrimmages due to the upcoming free agency in the NBA, but by simply showing up is already a huge support for the team. “Whenever Jordan shows up it helps our morale because we know his passion is, his desire to play for the Philippines,” he said. “It makes us feel good. He’s happy doing it.”