(The Sports Xchange) - The pending sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and ouster of disgraced owner Donald Sterling might not be official by the start of the NBA season in October, Commissioner Adam Silver said.
Silver acknowledged the potential for a lagging resolution to the planned sale to Steve Ballmer because of litigious hurdles that are becoming unpredictable.
“I‘m not sure,” Silver said. “Because we’re not actually a party to those proceedings, and while I‘m following the litigation and we have a lawyer in the courtroom who’s giving us regular reports on it, they’re in recess right now.”
The NBA Board of Governors cannot approve the sale to Ballmer, a former CEO at Microsoft who made a $2 billion bid and signed a binding agreement with Shelly Sterling, while it is being contested in court.
Silver also said the league is considering an in-season, neutral-site tournament.
“Very early days in the discussion of that, but we’re looking at other opportunities in the league to create excitement,” Silver said at a Board of Governors meeting press conference in Las Vegas.
“As one of our general managers said at the meeting, there’s very few things that you can win in the NBA. I mean, when you think about European soccer, for example, they have the FA Cup and they have other tournaments throughout the season, so I could imagine if we were to look at some sort of midseason tournament I would imagine doing something in Vegas. This would be a terrific neutral site location.”
The tournament would require approval of the NBA players association, which means it likely cannot be introduced until a new collective bargaining agreement is established.
The Charlotte Hornets are on the verge of landing Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.
ESPN reported owner Michael Jordan, general manager Rich Cho, head coach Steve Clifford and assistant coach Patrick Ewing met with Stephenson in Las Vegas on Tuesday and worked out a three-year deal that could pay him up to $27 million.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra is happy for LeBron James, he said in his first public comments since the Miami Heat lost the four-time MVP in free agency.
“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra said in Las Vegas at the Heat’s summer league appearance. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”
The Golden State Warriors agreed to a two-year deal worth $2.5 million with guard Brandon Rush, according to reports.
Yahoo Sports reported that Rush will have a player option after the first year. It will be Rush’s second stint in Golden State, where he played from 2011-13.
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced the signing of free agent guard Anthony Morrow.
Morrow has averaged 10.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game through six NBA seasons. He played for New Orleans in 2013-14.
The Washington Wizards were finalizing a sign-and-trade deal with the Dallas Mavericks to acquire forward DeJuan Blair, according to multiple reports.
Blair averaged 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in a reserve role for the Mavericks last season.
The Phoenix Suns agreed to a two-year deal with free agent forward Anthony Tolliver worth a reported $6 million.
Tolliver, 29, has averaged 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in six NBA seasons, and is expected to help fill the void created by the free-agent departure of Channing Frye.
Former Miami Heat forward James Jones signed a one-year deal worth the league minimum to reunite with LeBron James as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jones, 6-foot-8, 215, is an 11-year veteran and 40 percent career three-point shooter.
Veteran forward Rashard Lewis signed a one-year veteran’s minimum contract with the Mavericks.
Lewis started eight games in the 2014 playoffs with the Miami Heat, but averaged a career-low 4.5 points in the regular season.
Editing by Andrew Both