Skip to main content

In push for title, Nets trade for aging stars Garnett, Pierce; ticket prices said to be rising

Via Twitter
Some two weeks after hiring surprising new coach Jason Kidd, the former New Jersey Nets star and retiring New York Knick, the Brooklyn Nets yesterday announced a blockbuster trade.

Assuming the trade goes through, the Nets will gain aging Boston Celtics stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce (37 and 36 respectively next season) plus aging sixth man Jason Terry, in exchange for three first-round draft picks and five players, including forgotten starter and "Core Four" member Gerald Wallace (remember those ads, "Offseason Fisherman"?), one-dimensional rebounding ace Reggie Evans, tabloid fave Kris Humphries, and two other lesser lights.

The consensus: the Nets are short-term contenders, adding the toughness they lacked when losing to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, and bringing them closer to majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov's pledge of a championship by 2015. And the Nets may emerge as the city's top team.

If Prokhorov will have to pay an enormous luxury tax--ultimately perhaps $84 million, according to the Times--well, he's rich, and the value of his Nets investment has already skyrocketed, as noted by Nets Daily.

Reaping new revenue

As Stefan Bondy reported in the Daily News, the new team configuration may soon be reflected in season ticket prices:
Via Twitter
A Barclays Center ticket rep seized the chance Thursday afternoon, warning prospective season-ticket holders that prices will hike in a foreshadowing email.
“If that happens, there is a very good chance prices go up as soon as tomorrow morning,” read an email obtained by The News. “I would strongly recommend securing before night’s end.”
Another email from a Barclays Center ticket manager read, “If indeed a high profile trade is consummated, all Full Season Prices will increase.”
ESPN columnist Ian O'Connor wrote:
But Prokhorov and his basketball man, [GM Billy] King, chased all of the above with a relentlessness required of a team trying to make a dent in the world's noisiest marketplace. And of course that was a part of this, too, the Nets' realization that the novelty of Brooklyn and their new digs, the Barclays Center, wasn't going to carry the day in Year 2. They needed to improve the product, and improve it they did.
Topping the Knicks

O'Connor added:
No, it isn't a great shot [to beat the Miami Heat], not with LeBron James at the height of his otherworldly powers, and not with Pat Riley promising to keep his band together for another tour or two. But it is a shot. The new Nets are right there with the improving Indiana Pacers (adding Danny Granger) and the improving Chicago Bulls (adding Derrick Rose), and that's a claim that can't be made by the neighboring New York Knicks.
The Post's Steve Serby wrote:
Unless [Amare] Stoudemire’s body can defy the odds and hold up, unless J.R Smith stays within striking distance of the 40-40 Club and proves Rihanna wrong, unless Tim Hardaway Jr. is at least half the player his old man used to be, you absolutely can make the case the Nets are now a better team on paper than the Knicks.
Still, as Will Leitch wrote in Sports On Earth, the Knicks fan base still rules:
• If you were at Barclays Center for any of the Knicks-Nets games this season you already knew this, but Knicks fans rather obviously outnumbered Nets fans. They were a ton louder too. And the cheer when Tim Hardaway Jr. was selected was the biggest non-Stern-related noise of the night.
Some cautions

Kelly Dwyer in Ball Don't Lie was perplexed, suggesting the Celtics still had too much payroll to rebuild. As for the Nets, he was skeptical:
They’re way over the luxury tax line, which means the team isn’t allowed by the NBA to compete with other franchises for players looking to play for salary cap exceptions, and they can’t engineer sign-and-trade deals to add depth while dealing out one of their massively compensated players. Pierce’s contract may run out after next season, but Garnett stipulated that he’d only waive his no-trade clause if the Nets guaranteed to pick up the team option on his contract for 2014-15. All while Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez alone make more than $201 million combined between now and 2017.
...It’s also hard to call this a “bad” trade for the Nets, because they’ll definitely improve, they weren’t getting out of their salary cap hell anyway and it’s not our money they’re spending. Still, if guard C.J. Watson opts out of his deal, the Nets will be on the books for nearly $97 million in payroll next year (with $80 million in luxury tax bills on top of that), with only nine players on the roster, and that includes two players (Tornike Shengailia, and Tyshawn Taylor) that you’ve never heard of.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…

Former ESDC CEO Lago returns to NYC to head City Planning Commission

Carl Weisbrod, Mayor Bill de Blasio's City Planning Commission Chairman and Director of the Department of City Planning, is resigning,

And he's being replaced by Marisa Lago, currently a federal official, but who Atlantic Yards-ologists remember as the short-term Empire State Development Corporation CEO who, in an impolitic but candid 2009 statement, acknowledged that the project would take "decades."

Still, Lago not long after that played the good soldier at a May 2009 Senate oversight hearing, justifying changes in the project but claiming the public benefits remained the same.

By returning to City Planning, Lago will join former ESDC General Counsel Anita Laremont, who after retiring from the state (and taking a pension) got the job with the city.

Back at planning

Lago, a lawyer, in 1983 began work as an aide to City Planning Chairman Herb Sturz, and later served as the General Counsel to the president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Weisbrod himself.