NBA AM: Is Mo Harkless The Future In Orlando?
Up Close With Mo Harkless: When the Orlando Magic traded Dwight Howard to the LA Lakers, Maurice Harkless was one of the young guys that came back in the package. Drafted with the 15th pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, Harkless was viewed by the Magic as a possible star and while he hasn’t blown the doors off the gym, he has earned his way into the starting lineup for Orlando.
Harkless talked with HOOPSWORLD about making the transition to starter in the NBA and how tough it is night in and night out to start at the small forward spot.
The Virginia Beach Kings: Nick Monacelli of News10 KXTV in Sacramento is reporting that not only have the Kings begun relocation discussions with the city of Virginia Beach, but that Kings owner George Maloof has met with the Governor of the state and that terms of a relocation package have been seriously discussed.
Monacelli’s report shows documents requesting some $150 million from the state, $80 million of which is identified as going directly to the team to be used for relocation fees and moving expenses, as well as lost revenue while the city builds the new arena.
It’s believed that if a deal is reached the Kings would move out of Sacramento and play in a smaller venue in Virginia Beach while the new venue is being constructed.
Virginia Beach City Mayor Will Sessoms told his City Council that Comcast-Spectacor, the developer of the project, is working an agreement with an “anchor” tenant of the new proposed building and that all parties were optimistic that a deal could be reached.
The Kings would have to notify the NBA of its intent to relocate by April 1, 2013. Mayor Sessom’s said he believes the city could have an agreement with a team before the end of March.
The NBA urged the Kings to give Sacramento another year when they discussed relocating to Anaheim in 2011, and were assured that if a deal for a new arena in Sacramento could not be materialized that the NBA would not stand in the way of relocation. At the time it was believed the NBA used the threat of a massive relocation fee to get the Kings to remain at the table in Sacramento and it looked as though a new downtown arena would happen. Both sides held a press conference in Orlando at the All-Star break announcing a new venue only to blow up the deal several weeks later.
The Maloofs have said if the city were to contribute to a massive renovation of their existing arena, they would be open to staying in Sacramento; however the city and the Mayor have said that renovating Sleep Train Arena would not solve the regions need for a new venue to attract other events.
According to Nielsen’s 2012 Television Market Estimates, Sacramento is the 20th ranked TV market with 1,409,400 “TV Homes”. Virginia Beach is part of the Norfolk-Portsmouth TV market and is listed as having 716,050 “TV Homes”.
The Kings have also been linked to the new arena underway in Seattle, however with continued dialogue with Virginia Beach it seems the Maloofs may have found their deal; now whether the NBA will approve it is something else.
The NBA and commissioner David Stern have said that domestic expansion in the NBA was not a possibility, so it will be interesting to see how the NBA handles a Western Conference Team moving so far East and how Seattle’s new area impacts the process.
If have not seen it yet, make sure to check out Travis Heath’s latest on Royce White. Travis is a practicing psychologist and offers his expert view on the situation and how NBA teams should look at this situation.
Off The Snide: The Washington Wizards are no longer the lone winless team in the NBA thanks to a dreadful shooting night from the Portland Trail Blazers.
After starting the game strong with 27 points in the opening quarter, the Blazers went on to shoot themselves out of the game in the second and third quarters. The Blazers found their way in the fourth quarter, but were unable to get the win.
The Wizards had tried multiple line-up changes and personnel combinations trying to find something that works, but remained winless until last night.
Wizards’ center Emeka Okafor who had been relegated to the bench in recent games called the winless streak “oppressive” and was thankful to have a win.
“I think getting that first victory and things will start to steamroll,” Okafor said to Michael Lee of The Washington Post. “We’ve gotten close several times and I think now that we’ve actually won whatever oppressive force that has kept us from winning has been lifted and it’ll start to come a little bit easier.”
Kevin Seraphin has been a lone bright spot for a dismal Wizards season, said he saw the pressure his teammates put on themselves to get a win.
“It was like, finally,” Seraphin said. “When you’ve got something on your shoulder for a long time, everybody now feel good. We have to keep going. We win but now we have to get second win, third win, and keep going.”
The Wizards hit the road for a Friday matchup in New York against the Knicks and then will have three days off before hosting the HEAT in Washington on the 4th of December.
The Wizards will see the HEAT, the Hawks, the Pistons and Orlando twice in the month of December as well has matchups with the Rockets, the Lakers and Golden State.
Unless things radically change for the Wizards after last night’s win, there are not many easy games on the schedule over the next 30 days.
Mavs Closing In On Fisher: According to Earl Sneed of Mavs.com, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle revealed that the Mavs would be signing Derek Fisher to a contract today and he would be joining the team after he cleared his physical.
Reports surfaced yesterday saying Fisher had narrowed his options down to three teams, with the Mavericks appearing to have won the race.
“We need help at point guard,” Carlisle said of the pending agreement. “I found out on the way over here that Collison would be out, and we were fortunate to get (Jared) Cunningham active.
“We feel he can help us. It’s not a cure-all to all of our team challenges, but his expertise and experience will help.”
The Mavericks have 15 players on the roster and will have to make a roster cut to make room for Fisher.
Troy Murphy has a non-guaranteed contract. Draft pick Bernard James is owed $473,000 for this season and has a non-guaranteed year next year.
The Mavericks could cut a player out right or try and trade off a player for little in return to open up the spot.
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NBA Chats: There are two NBA chats today starting with my weekly NBA Rumors Chat at 10:30am EST. Get your questions in now as the chats do fill up fast. Senior NBA writer Joel Brigham will host his weekly NBA Chat at 3:00pm EST. Joel covers the Central Division for HOOPSWORLD. You can always find the next chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats. If you are looking for a completed chat, check the Chat Archive.