(photo credit: Courtesy)
Although Yotam Halperin's stats were down one day after his best game as a Seattle Supersonic, they were not horrible at an NBA summer league in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday.
The Israeli guard, in the starting lineup for the second straight game, scored five points and committed five turnovers and four fouls en route to an 88-85 loss to the Atlanta Hawks' squad.
However, Halperin did pull down three rebounds, grab a steal, hit his one attempt from the charity stripe and shot 67 percent from the field, hitting two of the three shots he took. Additionally, Halperin again played more than anybody else on the court, 30 minutes of playing time.
Overall, Halperin's stats were decent based on the number of shots he attempted, although his turnovers were higher than they should be, and he once again found himself with four fouls, putting his summer league average at 3.5 fouls per game.
This should not be too much of a concern for the Sonics, however, as Halperin averaged right around two fouls per game last year with Lithuanian club Union Olimpija. As Halperin continues to adjust to the NBA pace, his fouls should go back to his normal average, just like his shot has improved each day in Utah.
As Halperin may be tired from his rigorous offseason workout and summer league schedule, Wednesday's day off should provide the NBA hopeful a welcome rest and possibly the spark he needs to bounce back in Thursday's game versus the Philadelphia 76ers.
Sonics sold to Oklahoma City group
A group from Oklahoma City agreed to buy the Super-Sonics and the WNBA's Seattle Storm, the Sonics said Tuesday.
The Basketball Club of Seattle will sell the teams to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett, for $350 million.
Bennett said at a news conference that whether the Sonics remain in Seattle for the long term would depend on whether the team can reach an agreement with the city to replace or renovate KeyArena.
"It is not our intention to move or relocate the teams - as long, of course, as we are able to negotiate a successor venue to the current basketball arena and arrangements to ensure the Sonics and Storm can succeed," Bennett said.
Sonics majority owner Howard Schultz said the team turned down higher bids from groups that appeared likely to move the Sonics immediately.
"It is really impossible to communicate how difficult this decision has been for us to make," Schultz said.
Bennett was instrumental in the temporary relocation of the New Orleans Hornets to Oklahoma City following Hurricane Katrina and emerged as a potential investor in the Hornets. He has previously discussed his desire to bring a team to Oklahoma City permanently, but insisted his first choice will be to keep the Sonics and Storm in Seattle.
In February, Schultz threatened to possibly move or sell the city's oldest major league professional sports franchise, saying the team has lost about $60m. in the past five years. The Sonics will begin their 40th season this autumn.
Team officials have blamed a KeyArena revenue-sharing lease with the city of Seattle that lasts until 2010. The lease was called the worst in the NBA by commissioner David Stern.
The team said if improvements were made to the arena, the Sonics would enter a new 20-year lease with the city, would manage and operate the arena and pay rent to the city at no less than $1m. per year, and would take on all operating risk of the arena, including all operating costs and routine maintenance. In return, the organization would keep all revenues.
Mayor Greg Nickels expressed disappointment Tuesday that the city and Sonics could not reach a deal for a renovated arena. He pledged to work with Bennett.
"We've made very specific and strong offers to the Sonics that would have met" both parties' needs, Nickels said. "Unfortunately they did not respond to those. However, those offers are still on the table."
AP contributed to this report.