Royce Young: Paul George’s trade to the Clippers is official. Lawrence Frank in a statement: “Paul George is one of the greatest two-way players in our game … when you have the opportunity to acquire a contributor of his caliber, you do what it takes to bring him home.”
January 26, 2021 | 2:56 pm EST Update
NBA owners have agreed on a framework allowing investment funds to own parts of franchises, according to two people with knowledge of the decision. The NBA’s Board of Governors has agreed that private equity and other types of institutional investors may own up to 20% equity in a single franchise, and funds may own stakes in a maximum of five teams.
No franchise can have more than 30% of its equity held by investment funds, no matter how many funds own a stake in the team, according to the people familiar with the owners’ decision. They asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on behalf of the league. The NBA declined to comment through a spokesman. Sportico first reported owners were having discussions last week.
The decision to allow in institutional investors addresses a number of needs. For one, NBA team values are skyrocketing. Less than seven years after Steve Ballmer stunned the sports world by paying $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers, almost half of the league’s teams are now worth that, and three teams are worth more than $5 billion, according to Sportico’s recent NBA valuations. Those numbers mean it is increasingly difficult for limited partners to find buyers wealthy enough and willing enough to own part of a team controlled by someone else. Adding institutional funds should support franchise values by providing a larger pool of long-term buyers with little ego for controlling a big-league franchise.
Antetokounmpo is averaging 27 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game with an effective field goal percentage of 58.4 percent this season, which are still quite good. But those statistics are all lower than in his first two seasons with Budenholzer. On top of that, Antetokounmpo isn’t feeling as comfortable as he did in the team’s previous offensive scheme. “It’s weird, it’s weird, but as I said, I’m figuring it out,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’d love to come out and have 30, 35 and it be easy. Easy layups and dunks and all that. But having somebody in ‘the dunker’ might make it a little bit harder.
Antetokounmpo had had trouble solving “the wall” that opponents build against him. Even with his teammates positioned behind the 3-point line on the wings, the Bucks’ five-out offensive fails to create enough space. Opponents station three players near the free-throw line to keep Antetokounmpo out of the lane. As Pat Connaughton explained earlier this season, one of the Bucks’ priorities with their new offensive scheme was making it tougher for teams to build “the wall” at the free-throw line. By moving Antetokounmpo from the top of the key to the wing and placing a teammate in “the dunker” spot, the Bucks have been able to take away the wall.
“I’m happy that I’m in this position,” Antetokounmpo said. “It’s something new for me. It’s something that I’ve got to work on. It’s not like previous years where it was a little bit easier. I knew the offense. It’s something I’ve tried to figure out. This is 15 games we’ve played with this new offense and the new way, the new style of play. “But as I’ve said, being uncomfortable is a good thing. That’s when you excel the most. You might have some bumps in the road, but at the end of the day, if you have the right mindset which is to keep winning games, keep getting better, you’re always going to figure it out.”
Eddie Sefko: Dorian Finney-Smith said he felt like he had a cold while isolated for 14 days in a Denver hotel room. Said he never thought it would be him during what has become a crazy, crazy season. More to come on mavs.com