In this week's Three-Man Weave, Will Strickland and Duane Watson of TSN 1050's 1 On 1 With Will & Duane are joined by Elias Sbiet, co-captain of North Pole Hoops, a leader in covering Canadian hoop stars at every level, to talk the Sterlings' Monopoly Money, who can help keep Melo in Gotham, why the Raptors might go after Brampton's own Tyler Ennis in the Draft and of course, cover issues in the NBA Playoffs.
Will this $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers affect the future pricing of NBA team deals?
Watson: This is somewhat of an anomaly. It was the second biggest team sale in the history of sport, after the Los Angeles Dodgers went for $2 billion in 2012. Between New York and LA there is no bigger market in sports, which definitely played a factor in price. In addition to the fact this wasn't an owner looking at prospective buyers; it was more of a garage sale with billionaires coming out of the woodwork to bid.
Sbiet: There are other teams in the NBA that would have higher bidders, so yes it would affect future pricing. The Lakers are estimated to be worth close to $1 billion, and if the Buss family wanted to sell, there would be potential buyers at their door and the Lakers would be in position to ask for more than $2 billion when considering the rich history. The other factors involved in the sale of a team such as; the city's population, team success and current value would be more compulsory for future pricing.
Strickland: No. The expected financial windfall of the Sterlings is based on exigent circumstances, which have been well-documented within multiple media platforms. On top of the fact that the real estate is in a major market and huge free agent/player destination never hurts this price. Don't expect to see numbers like this coming up for a future sale of the Utah Jazz or Cleveland Cavaliers. It's simple geo-economics...and all mathematics.
After Tyler Ennis' pre-draft workout, do the Toronto Raptors trade up for the hometown point guard?
Watson: Tyler Ennis would be a great pick up for any NBA team, he's the best point guard in the Draft. It would only make sense for them to do that if they aren't willing to pay Greivis Vasquez or worse not pay Kyle Lowry this summer. Both are concerns, but Ennis has the type of poise that Damian Lillard had when he came in the league and exceeded expectations.
Sbiet: In a record setting NBA Draft for Canadians, it would be a smart move for the Raps to keep the basketball culture rolling in this country by adding one to the roster, especially someone as celebrated and accomplished as Ennis. He's someone you don't have to worry about as management or a coaching staff. Ennis is a true professional that will adapt quickly and earn respect from the team as a leader. On the defensive end his length and continuous development in lateral speed will help against the NBA's explosive guards. Every rookie is going to have to make adjustments coming into the league but Ennis is not one who will struggle to make them. On the other end, if they were to trade up is Ennis the piece they need or are looking for in T.O?
Strickland: Depends on circumstance. In our #1On1 Mock Draft here on TSN.ca, I had Tyler going number six to Boston, which is pretty high, but also insurance given the persistent Rajon Rondo trade rumours. There is a feeling that Wheel & Deal Danny Ainge is in business to do business and Masai Ujiri is always looking to protect and serve the Raptors. Ennis would provide Ujiri with a solid contingency in the event either Kyle Lowry or Greivis Vasquez are lost to free agency. It's a long shot, but if the asset management play is right, I roll those dice to put a hometown guy who can be an impact player on my roster.
If Carmelo Anthony would "embrace" Mark Jackson as coach, should the New York Knicks try and keep the pending free agent happy?
Watson: The Knicks need to make decisions on coaching based on their ball club and not what their star wants. There is no guarantee that Anthony will stay and barring a miracle, the Knicks will have to endure some losses before they get to the winning pedigree of a couple of years ago. They need a coach who can command the locker room, Jackson is that guy, it just shouldn't be predicated on Melo.
Sbiet: I'm not a fan of the idea of "if" Carmelo embraces Mark Jackson. Yes, Melo is a superstar but superstars are being allowed too much control over management. If he wants to walk then let him go. Jackson could be exactly what New York needs in terms of someone that can get the Knicks' personnel on one page. He revived the scene for the Warriors and has built a contending winning culture in the state. Of course there's a lot of pressure if he were to walk into New York, but his rock steady composure translates onto his players and that could make a major difference in his first year. Mark Jackson's record improved gradually to a 51-31 season. Anthony and the Knicks would be fortunate to land Jackson.
Strickland: Mark Jackson should have some sway in the executive offices and the locker room of the World's Most Famous Arena. As a well-respected colour commentator turned relatively successful coach and a popular former Rookie of The Year with the Knicks, Jackson has the star power to aid Phil Jackson in having Carmelo stay in Gotham. But they have no real assets, no draft picks, a paucity of keen playmakers and no leadership right now. Would you stay? Bon Voyage, Melo!
Who is doing a better coaching job in the Western Conference Finals, Scott Brooks or Gregg Popovich?
Watson: In various stretches both, however Scott Brooks' adjustments inserting Reggie Jackson into the starting line-up and giving key minutes to Jeremy Lamb, while benching Thabo Sefolosha have paid dividends. Plus, setting a quickened tempo in the game using the fast break on the Spurs old legs, has worked to the Thunder's advantage.
Sbiet: Pop, but it's not a no brainer, utmost respect for Brooks. Coach Popovich's control of substitutions and play calling is an art form of its own. At this point and time the Spurs are executing so well and on many possessions, dissecting OKC's defence, especially in transition. The three games that belong to the Spurs have not just been won, but dominated. Coach Pop injects his bench at key turn around points in the game and his bench responds with major contribution. You know I can't be on here without adding a little Canadian flavour. Let's refer back to that nasty dunk by Corey Joseph after splitting the D.
Strickland: It's damn near blasphemous to suggest someone can outcoach Gregg Popovich. I almost slapped myself for pondering. Perish the thought! However, let's give credit where it's due. Scott Brook's dug himself and his Thunder team out of its own playoff grave once again by letting go of his fierce loyalty to his starting lineup, pulling Sefolosha for more offence with Reggie Jackson and giving Steven Adams more time in the middle over Kendrick Perkins. It didn't hurt that Brooks may or may not have employed the services of Mr. Miyagi's Healing Hands to get PF Serge Ibaka back in the lineup to stop the hemorrhaging of points in the paint and create court comfort for Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant to tie the series at two wins apiece. Pop and the Spurs counterpunched deftly in Game 5. Now Brooks has to show and prove once again in Game 6 or else it's #TackleBox Season.
What happens to Larry Bird's Pacers if they lose the Eastern Conference Finals?
Watson: Something has to happen, the Pacers haven't been right since January. Paul George is a keeper, but after that, do what changes are necessary. This team was built to make it to the NBA Finals, and they haven't got over the hump. I like Coach Vogel, but one of his assistant's, Nate McMillan, has had experience as a head coach in the NBA if Bird is willing to make a change. Either that, or pray that one of the Big Three leaves Miami.
Sbiet: You never know what to expect with the Pacers. Will Hibbert show up? Will they quit their antics and play basketball? The drama that's been surrounding the team means there's been internal affairs that have been lingering. Outside of Frank Vogel, George and Luis Scola most pieces are replaceable or at least worth it for Larry Bird to shop around. The Pacers need a backcourt that can consistently come out and defend teams with serious fire power at the three point line.
Strickland: Full scale upheaval, starting with Frank Vogel, who has proven to be a solid coach. But the perceived inability to hold his talented but flawed locker room from strife and turmoil in the midst of fighting for what should have been a singular goal will be considered. He would have not been the man to drive the Pacers past the Miami Heat and into the NBA Finals. The question of re-signing mercurial do-everything guard Lance Stephenson is also at the top of President and GM Larry Bird's list. Small market teams are loathe to exceed the salary cap threshold and Indiana, already locked into well over $52 million in cap space next season for four of their starters, face an unenviable situation where Lance will get overpaid for his services. The Where is the Issue: Where does he go and where does all of this leave the Indiana Pacers? It would seem they would be lost in the hinterland of teams like the Cleveland Cavs of the mid-late 80s and Sacramento Kings of the late-90s/early 2000s who were on the cusp of greatness, but always seemed to fall just short in their quest for NBA championship glory.
The Three-Man Weave contributors are co-hosts of TSN Radio 1050's 1-on-1 with Will and Duane, Will Strickland (@WallStrizzle1), Duane Watson (@byDuaneWatson) and guest contributor with an injured calf coming through those locker room doors this week, Elias Sbiet (@Elias_NPH).