Atlanta Hawks Availability: What it Means to Louisville

Recently, news has broken that the three owners of the Atlanta Hawks have decided to make 100 percent of their franchise available to the highest bidder.  To fans of the addition of an NBA franchise in Louisville this may come as good news.  I assure you that it is; just not in the way that you would think.

To set the record straight, there is no way that the Hawks will relocate anywhere at all.  No conversation over where they should move will be had.  With the change of ownership will come the exchange of money, a neat stack of papers with some rather powerful signatures, and the keys to the Phillips Arena.  Several factors will keep the Hawks in ATL.  The current bond agreement between the Hawks and the Phillips Arena has them tied to the arena for another seven years.  Termination of this bond would require the Hawks’ new owners to not only pay the bond off in full but also an “early termination fee” to the tune of $75 million.  Major corporations housed in Atlanta also have vested interest in making sure the Hawks stay put.  TNT/Turner owns the assets of NBA TV; with Atlanta being rated as the 8th largest TV market in the nation TNT would certainly want to keep the team local.

The major interest that the city of Louisville has in this deal is what the price tag would be.  This would be an indicator of an expansion fee price in the current NBA market.  This would allow J. Bruce Miller and his potential group of investors/buyers to know what kind of figure they need to have together when putting in an application for expansion from the NBA.  Until then keep watching, reading, and being a fan.


NBA Expansion: Ranking The Top Draft Picks

Because this blog is brand new, and therefore has very little following, it will likely move in several non-sensical directions. But who says non-sensical directions aren’t fun and entertaining? This is my first of many posts. While I will likely hit on a range of subjects, it is my goal to appeal to the everyday NBA fanatic, and in-turn, relate that fanaticism to the NBA movement in Louisville. Let’s do this.

An expansion is the most likely way an NBA team ends up in the fine city of Louisville, KY.  Many people debate whether or not that will happen in the near future given the new TV contracts etc, but there is one fact that is non-debatable… Expansion Drafts are awesome.

Because Expansion Drafts are awesome, I’ve ranked the top 5 Expansion Draft picks of all time. Enjoy.

5. Mugsy Bogues (1988)

After being selected 12th overall in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets, Mugsy was left unprotected and taken in the following year’s Expansion Draft by the Charlotte Hornets.  While he averaged a modest 7.7 points and 7.6 assists per game for his career, Mugsy was widely regarded as one of the most exciting guards in the league and is an all-time favorite amongst the Hornets organization.  Plus he was in Space Jam.

4. Gerald Wallace (2004)

Wallace was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 25th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. After struggling to find the court early in his career he was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 Expansion Draft.  Wallace was voted to the 2010 All-Star game and was selected to the All-Defensive First Team the same year. He has averaged a career 12.4 points per game.

3. Jerry Sloan (1966)

Sloan was selected in the 1966 Expansion Draft by the Chicago Bulls. While Sloan is known more for his coaching legacy, he produced two All-Star appearances and made the All-Defensive First Team four times.  His most elite statistics come in the form of coaching victories, as he is the only Head Coach to win 1,000 games with one franchise.  He is currently in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

2. Walt Bellamy (1974)

Bellamy was selected in the 1974 Expansion Draft by the New Orleans Jazz. Unfortunately for the Jazz, Bellamy was at the end of his outstanding career. He was selected with the first overall pick in the 1961 NBA Draft, and averaged 31.6 points per game in his rookie season. He ended his career with over 20,000 points and 14,000 rebounds and is currently in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

1. Pat Riley (1970)

Riley was selected in the 1970 Expansion Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.  His playing career was not particularly great, but he did win an NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972.  It is his post-playing days where Riley truly made his mark on the NBA. Since his playing career, he has accounted for 7 total NBA Championships (4 as a Head Coach, 1 as a Head Coach/President, and 2 as a President). He is arguably one of the greatest basketball minds to have been through the NBA.

Feel free to share your top expansion players in the comments!