What is your take on the Zach LaVine FA rumors in 2022? How realistic is it for the Celtics financially and roster wise? Thanks, Jeff. Brian Robb: LaVine is a name that has been floated for a little bit as a potential target for Boston if Bradley Beal elects to stay put in Washington. His age and position do line up fairly well among Boston’s current group, however, there are some significant obstacles in any pursuit of the shooting guard during the next year.
A potential Celtics free agent target could be Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who is entering the final year of his contract. He will have to prove he can lead the Bulls to the playoffs before a contract extension. LaVine changed representation recently and signed with Klutch Sports, which is usually the move for players who want to maximize their free agent potential. LaVine, 26, just coming off helping Team USA to the gold medal, will ask for a maximum contract in the open market. The Olympic experience may have enhanced LaVine’s value because he was asked to be a three-and-D player, sparking the Americans with his full-court defense and ability to run the floor. In the case that Bradley Beal decides to stay in Washington, LaVine could be the Celtics’ No. 1 target. The Bulls, who added DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball in the offseason, have full intentions to be a factor in the Eastern Conference .
What trade value would Schroeder have at the deadline for a contending team? C’s will be good this season, so probably won’t happen, but would Schroeder command a protected 1st or good young player? — Mr. Positive. Brian Robb: I think that either of those returns would probably be a very best-case scenario. The good news for Boston when it comes to Schroder’s trade value is that his contract is very cheap so it would be very easy for a team to add him without going over their budget. The problem for Brad Stevens is that Schroder does not have any Bird Rights after signing a one-year deal. That means any team that trades for him will need to use their own cap space to re-sign him. Most playoff teams are capped out for next summer already so that should limit a potential return in the event the Celtics decide to move on. If some team gets desperate, perhaps a late first-round pick could be in play but a couple of second-round picks and/or an unproven young player with promise seems more likely if Schroder has a good first half of the year and Boston wants to move on.
In a Twitter Spaces Q&A that Jamal Crawford recently hosted, one fan asked about his favorite Kobe Bryant memory. “My favorite memory of Kobe was in the summer and we were both playing in the celebrity softball game in Seattle,” Crawford said. “We started talking. Kobe has this aura about him, by the way, where he could make superstars, not saying me, but I’ve seen superstars get nervous around him. He just stood out. He was something different. So we were at the softball game, and it was my pro-am game later on and i finally built up enough courage. I’m like ‘Kobe man, will you come watch me play tonight. Everybody thinks you’re coming anyways. Will you come?’
“He said, ‘You’re playing.’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I’m coming.’ And somebody from Nike was like, ‘Nah, we gotta go back to LA, we gotta go.’ He said, ‘No, I’m going to watch Jamal play.’ He moved his plane back. He had him, his wife, his daughters, whole family come watch me play and I scored 63 points. And it wasn’t because of me. I’m telling you. I remember driving over like, ‘Damn, Kobe’s behind me in the car right now.’ I’m calling everybody like, ‘Get to the Pro-Am, Kobe’s coming!’ And so he had that aura about him and that was the dopest moment for me because he had every reason in the world to say, ‘No I’m not coming,’ or ‘I’ll do it another time, it’s last minute,’ and I would’ve totally understood, but the fact that he moved everything to come was unbelievable to me.”
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Why was Michael Jordan ringing the bell on IPO day? Well, Michael Jordan, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis — the owner of the NBA’s Wizards, the NHL’s Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and more — invested $44 million in the Swiss company in 2015. Keep in mind; sports betting didn’t even get legalized in the United States until the Supreme Court ruled PASPA unconstitutional in 2018, paving the way for states to self-regulate retail and online sports betting. But the early bet has paid off tremendously. Sportradar covered about 325,000 live events at the time of the investment but now covers about 750,000 events annually, providing data analytics and other technology services to 900 sports betting operators and 350 media companies.
The valuation at the time of their investment wasn’t disclosed, but Sportrader revealed in 2018 that the business was worth $2.4 billion. Given they invested three years prior, they likely came in at a significantly lower number, but still, even at that number, their $44 million would be worth nearly $150 million today. There’s nuance to this, of course. We don’t know if they invested additional capital, were diluted through later rounds, etc., but you get the point — Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban, and Ted Leonsis all made significant money on the deal. Sportrader Valuation: 2018: $2.4 billion. 2021: $8 billion (+233%). But here’s the interesting part: Sportrader did nearly $500 million in sales last year, but just 11% of that came from the U.S. market, where they are already the largest provider of data to sportsbooks.