James Dolan is selling the New York Liberty and the owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers would listen if bidders wanted to make a run at his NBA and NHL franchises.
Dolan, 63, serves as chairman of Madison Square Garden and told ESPN of recent feelers from suitors for the Knicks’ franchise exceeded $5 billion. However, he said no one has come through with what he described as “a bona-fide offer.”
Should that certified offer arrive, Dolan said he owes it to shareholders to vet the opportunity.
“You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that’s being open and transparent,” Dolan said. “And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn’t consider selling the Knicks.”
—Kelly Krauskopf was named assistant general manager of the Indiana Pacers.
She is the first female assistant general manager in NBA history. Krauskopf spent the past 19 seasons as the top executive of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, which reached the playoffs 13 times during her tenure.
“As the architect of one of the WNBA’s most successful franchises, Kelly is a true pioneer in our sport,” Pacers owner Herb Simon said. “I’ve worked with Kelly over the past two decades, so I know her tremendous basketball mind, strong work ethic and proven leadership skills will continue to be of great benefit to our organization.”
—Trevor Ariza is officially a member of the Washington Wizards after passing his team physical.
An ill-fated, three-way trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns fell apart on Friday before the Wizards and Phoenix Suns engaged to pull off the deal involving Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers for Ariza. The 15-year veteran Ariza has 102 games of playoff experience and played for the Wizards from 2012-14.
“Trevor has been one of the most effective, efficient and versatile players at his position for over a decade,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “We are obviously very familiar with the leadership and experience he brings as one of the league’s most respected professionals and look forward to welcoming him back to the team.”
—The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up head coach Billy Donovan’s option for the 2019-20 season, multiple outlets reported.
Per ESPN, which first reported the news, the move was mostly a formality for general manager Sam Presti. The report adds the Thunder could pursue an extension with Donovan at some point depending on how they perform in the playoffs.
Donovan is in the fourth year of a five-year contract with the Thunder, who he has led to an 18-10 record this season and a mark of 168-106 in three-plus seasons. Oklahoma City ranks six in regular-season wins over that span.
—A day after he complimented Dallas Mavericks standout rookie Luka Doncic, Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger addressed the comments to clarify that he was not taking any shots at his own organization.
The comments praising the 19-year-old raised some eyebrows as the Kings passed on Doncic with the second pick in the draft to take Duke standout Marvin Bagley III. Joerger has reportedly been at odds with the Kings’ front office over the team’s direction and philosophy.
“There’s no veiled shots at anybody,” Joerger said to The Athletic in response to the reaction to his comments. “When we drafted Marvin at 2, we were high-fiving like crazy. We got the right guy for us. This isn’t going to be a story in three days and it’ll be definitely buried five years from now when we have the next Durant-Westbrook. That’s how good they’re gonna be.”
Joerger was referring to De’Aaron Fox in the Durant-Westbrook comparison.
—Fans can vote for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game beginning Christmas Day.
The NBA announced a partnership with Google designed to get more fans involved in balloting across multiple platforms.
Voting ends on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans can vote by searching on Google, through the Google Assistant and via the NBA App and NBA.com. Fans account for 50 percent of the vote, with media and players accounting for 25 percent each.
—Field Level Media