As any Nets fan knows, an NBA franchise sale is preceded by a wave of cost-cutting, starting with reductions in long term contracts. In fact, it's true of any distressed business and by any definition, the Pistons is a distressed asset and up for sale...have been since the death of their long time owner Bill Davidson in March 2009.
After one sale failed (once the prospective owner took a look at the books), a Michigan billionaire is now on the clock. Tom Gores has a 30-day window to buy the team.
The question now is whether Detroit is ready to dump its longest term salary commitment --$21 million to 32-year-old Richard Hamilton-- for less than he's worth or less than what Pistons fans think he's worth.
The Nets must think so. That's why they wanted Detroit to take Johan Petro's contract and give up a first round pick along with Troy Murphy's expiring deal. Will it work? That could determine the fate of the three-team deal.