Storyline: Phoenix Suns Arena

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Sarver followed up his donation to Guevara with a $100,000 contribution to a firefighter PAC backing the mayoral campaign of Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, also a supporter of the arena deal. Sarver is the largest known individual financial supporter of Valenzuela’s campaign. The Suns owner provided this statement to 12 News about his campaign spending: “I care deeply about the future of the city of Phoenix. I am proud to support candidates who have the best interests of the city at heart, particularly those who are committed to job creation and improving education. I gave openly, not behind a veil, and I look forward to the exciting days ahead for our community.”

The council added a number of tweaks to the deal, including: Requiring the Suns to spend $10 million on community benefits, including at least $2.6 million to the city’s preschool program. The city will hire someone to oversee Phoenix’s expenditures on the renovations. The city will commit the $1.5 million rent increase from the Suns to homeless issues. 80 percent of any additional revenues generated by the city from the arena will go toward city public safety costs.

In the video, Sarver stated the following: Hello Suns fans. I hope you take a minute to listen to an important message that I want to share with you. First and foremost, the Phoenix Suns are not leaving Phoenix. I am 100 percent committed and have been for the last four years to find a solution to keep them in downtown Phoenix, where they belong. I am a strong proponent, as evidenced by the term sheet that I signed last week, that we should renovate the Talking Stick Resort Arena and once again restore it to a world-class facility.

Splash one arena deal. Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams and Councilwomen Laura Pastor and Debra Stark have asked for a postponement of this afternoon’s City Council vote on whether to spend $150 million upgrading the Suns arena. This, because the deal will go down in defeat if it’s put to a vote. Whether they get a continuance or not could mark the beginning of a showdown between the city and Suns owner Robert Sarver, who is telling some council members that he will take the team to Seattle or Las Vegas.

The Phoenix City Council is expected to delay a vote on a $230 million Talking Stick Resort Arena renovation following backlash from the community. The council was slated to vote on the deal, which could keep the Phoenix Suns in downtown until 2042, Wednesday afternoon. But the council will now likely vote to delay the final vote until Jan. 23, allowing Mayor Thelda Williams to host two additional community meetings to solicit feedback before the council decision, according to city sources. The Suns have been asking the city for a new or significantly updated arena for years, but have been unable to get the council to publicly consider a deal until now.

So hearing about the proposed renovation project for the Suns’ arena sounds good to him even though the city will have to shell out $150 million upfront. “Everything costs money, bro,” said Govan, 43, before Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers. “It’s not like we expect to go out and get it done for free. Is it the best spent taxpayers money? Not really, but I’m all about the Suns. I’ve been waiting for a winning season for a long time. Whatever helps them win, I’m all about it.” The City Council will vote on the proposal Wednesday in its 2:30 p.m. meeting, the council’s last session of the year. A week ago, Suns team owner Robert Sarver met one-on-one with the council members.

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has been looking to replace or renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena for several years. But that talk exploded into action last month, after Kate Gallego crushed the competition in the four-way Phoenix mayor election. Within days, Gallego, the odds-on favorite to win the March runoff, announced that “spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a huge renovation for the Phoenix Suns is not a priority for me.” Thus, the urgency to get this deal done Wednesday, during the City Council’s last meeting of the year.

The plan was unveiled on Thursday after Sarver met one-on-one with every council member and the votes already were lined up to pass it. If those votes don’t waver – and there are indications that some council members are getting cold feet – the deal calls for the city to spend $150 million on upgrades and the Suns to kick in another $80 million. (With interest, the city’s tab would be $233 million to $247 million over 17 to 18 years.) The city also would put another $25 million into a fund for future upgrades over the next 15 years, with the Suns kicking in half that amount.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is expected to announce Tuesday that he supports pursuing a deal to build a new downtown sports and entertainment arena that would be shared by the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Coyotes. According to sources who have reviewed the mayor’s planned remarks, Stanton will outline his vision for building a new taxpayer-funded arena during his fifth State of the City speech. The mayor is scheduled to speak before a crowd of hundreds of business and political leaders at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel in downtown about noon.
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February 19, 2020 | 7:57 am EST Update
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Moe Harkless on Lakers' radar

That doesn’t mean they aren’t looking, though. In fact, during an appearance on ESPN LA 710’s “The Sedano Show” on Tuesday, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Lakers are waiting to see what happens with Moe Harkless, who was traded from the 37-18 LA Clippers to the 17-38 New York Knicks in the Marcus Morris deal earlier this month: “Moe Harkless is a name I’ve heard they’re interested in and monitoring and still have an eye on.”
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Andre Drummond to be traded again?

There’s some belief around the league that the Cavaliers could look to flip Drummond as early as this summer. “I don’t think [Drummond and the Cavs] will last long,” one former NBA general manager said. “I could see them trading him to a team this summer if he agrees to pick up his option. They could also do a sign-and-trade if he agrees to a new long-term deal. I don’t think he’ll be in Cleveland for long.”
Altman admitted he and Drummond hadn’t talked about what he would do with his option before the trade, but he was fine sacrificing the Cavaliers’ upcoming salary-cap space for him. “Absolutely, we consider him a potential long-term play,” Altman said. “Obviously, he has a player option that if he picks up, we think we’re in good shape in terms of our cap space. There’s no better money spent than on Andre Drummond if he picks up his option.”
That didn’t make sense for a Cavs team focused on asset accumulation at this point. “Kevin and [agent] Jeff [Schwartz] wanted a trade, but I think both knew it probably wasn’t going to happen,” the former GM said. “It’s something they’ll push for again in the summer. I think he’ll be traded this summer since the free-agent market is so bare and the draft doesn’t look like anything special. Teams need to add talent somehow.”
“There’s a lot of bad contracts they could have traded him for. The Sixers would have traded Al Horford for him, but why would Cleveland do that? They want expiring money and picks,” the former GM said. “Portland could have made a deal work, but for what? They would have really had to look at their cap space and tax money for next year and asked how far a trade for Love would really push them. Would it make them a top-four seed in the West? I don’t think so.”
Storyline: Al Horford Trade?
So just to fact-check the popular narrative, Russell’s journey to Houston started with a phone call from you, James. He said he was interested, and then the Rockets front office made it happen. Harden: That simple. If the goal was for you guys to play together again, did you ever discuss James going back to OKC? Westbrook: Discuss James coming to OKC? Yeah. Westbrook: Oh, nah! [laughs] No, that wasn’t a thought. Harden: It’s impossible. It’s impossible? Harden: It’s impossible. Why? Westbrook: I never thought about that until now. [laughs]
When did you hit your growth spurt and take that next step as a player? Jaren Jackson Jr: I probably hit my growth spurt during freshman year or toward the end of freshman year. It was probably because, I don’t know, I was eating a lot of broccoli or something (laughs). Then, I just grew. I was about 6-foot-5 and then I became 6-foot-10 real quick, so I had to figure out how not to trip over myself all the time (laughs). Once I got all of that together, I was good!

Storyline: Klay Thompson Injury
As of Tuesday evening, even though Beilein stepping down was a mere formality, multiple coaches on staff hadn’t received an official update on Beilein’s immediate future, sources say. The Athletic reported that Beilein was prepared to walk away from the remainder of his deal, which was originally a four-year contract that contained a team option for the fifth year and was worth around $4 million per season.
The Timberwolves would retire Garnett’s jersey tomorrow if they could. He is far and away the most accomplished and most popular player to ever suit up here. The lone stretch of modest success enjoyed by the team was in KG’s prime. There appeared at one point to be a possible thawing of the iciness as recently as last season. But Garnett remains upset at owner Glen Taylor for the way things ended and a promise that he believes was broken.
Throughout that previous season, KG had made it clear behind the scenes that he planned on taking over as a primary decision-maker in the franchise. He wanted to be an owner and implement his own vision for where this team could go. That he wasn’t consulted on the decision not to retain Mitchell and the implementation of a new front office felt like a betrayal to him. “I think if you put enough blood, sweat and tears into these organizations, you should have at least the option to be able to buy into or have a piece of it,” Garnett said during an All-Star weekend appearance with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their “All the Smoke” podcast. “Hell, you helped build it.
The reality is it is a delicate situation for them. They know that Garnett still holds a grudge against Taylor. They understand that there is a large gap to be bridged. They want things to be on good terms before such a festive event is planned. Wolves CEO Ethan Casson and COO Ryan Tanke, longtime franchise employees who have some rapport with Garnett, and Ryan Saunders, Flip’s son and the current head coach, have worked hard behind the scenes over the last several years to try to repair the organization’s relationship with its biggest star.
Former equipment manager Clayton Wilson, a longtime Garnett confidante, had a special jersey made for him and the organization bent over backward to make him feel welcome in his first game back since he retired. It was then that there was a belief that progress was being made. As it stands today, the Wolves still hold out hope that they are headed in the right direction toward the essential re-establishment of a connection with the team’s North Star.
The team Michael Jordan owns played host to the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C. The team Jordan led to six championships in the 1990s just played host to the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago. Jordan made the briefest of public appearances last year, when he was essentially considered the All-Star grand marshal, and then stayed completely out of public view this year. Jordan defenders always tell me, when I bring this stuff up, that I cannot possibly understand how hard it is for His Airness to put himself out there. He’s a very private person, they always say, and makes it his mission to avoid the spotlight.
What does that player need to be to earn a signature sneaker? Harden: The whole package. Westbrook: You can’t just be one-dimensional. I didn’t deserve a signature shoe for a while, because I didn’t earn it. But I’ve earned my way, and now I have my own. I’m realistic when it pertains to that. Some players just get a shoe. Like James said: You gotta have the package. The fan base. Your play gotta speak, obviously. Outside of basketball, whatever else you got going on. You gotta be “that guy” to be able to have a shoe. Because nowadays everybody got a shoe. [laughs]
Storyline: Sneaker Deals
February 18, 2020 | 8:32 pm EST Update
February 18, 2020 | 8:32 pm EST Update
For the Clippers, Jackson’s expected signing would come with another benefit — keeping him away from the Lakers, who also hold interest in signing him to bolster their backcourt. The Clippers also acquired another Lakers target, New York forward Marcus Morris, ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline. Jackson, however, had eyes on the Clippers because of his close friendship with forward Paul George.
The Wade tributes — called “L3GACY Celebration” — will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s event at AmericanAirlines Arena will be a series of tributes to honor Wade’s impact on the Heat and the South Florida community. Wade’s jersey No. 3 will be retired Saturday before the Heat host the Cavaliers. Sunday, a documentary will be screened highlighting Wade’s NBA career, with the 13-time All-Star and three-time champion addressing the crowd.
February 18, 2020 | 6:54 pm EST Update
Atkinson said Tuesday that it was not a specific play or practice that caused Irving to be in pain again, but rather something he’s been dealing with continuously. “The shoulder is a tough thing,” Atkinson said. “I just think it was an on and off thing where it’s bothering you. Some days you feel good, some days you don’t feel good. But I think it got to the point it was, ‘Hey let’s see another specialist.'”