It’s hard to say what path owner Robert Sarver took to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, or how long it would take.
He announced Wednesday that he is looking for a buyer for the franchise after a week of mounting pressure from the NBA to do more than suspend Sarver for a year. It did so after publishing the findings of an investigation into his behavior, language, and treatment of others in the workplace.
Public pressure from NBA stars such as LeBron James, Chris Paul and Draymond Green, as well as the threat of PayPal, sponsor Suns, were key moments that led Sarver to finally make the decision to sell ahead of the opening training camps starting this next week.
“He was going to get a lot of extra heat from the players once the players were talking,” ESPN’s Brian Windhurst said. Beckley and Marotta of Arizona Sports Thursday.
The expectation is that the Suns for sale banner will attract a lot of attention, but it’s important to note that Sarver – despite his hold – controls who ultimately buys the team.
While Forbes last season estimated the Suns at $1.8 billion — Sarver bought the team in 2004 for $401 million — the selling price could be much higher.
“I think it’s going to blow that out of the water,” Windhurst said. “I think it will be more than two billion dollars. I think you will have many bidders.
“I think this is going to be a very hot property. A lot of the owners, they live on the coasts and they want to be able to join their teams.”
Windhurst’s colleague at ESPN, Ramona Shelburne, believes it could be sold for $3-4 billion.
Among them, a few wealthy people appeared as potential buyers.
You go to a third party, should you offer to Insiders or do they have any rights to match a third party’s offer in the agreement. When Jerry Colangelo sold the team to Robert there was no professional broker, but many sales are now used with a broker to maximize value/auction setup.
– John Gambadoro (@Gambadoro987) September 21 2022
While these aren’t hardcore reports, the names indicate the expected potential of a historic purchase price for NBA and WNBA franchises.
Some names have been put up there by Shelburne and Windhurst in the last 24 hours:
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: Yes, the second richest man in the world ($171 billion) according to Forbes.
Former CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger: As we know from the relationship between ESPN and the NBA, not to mention Disney World’s hosting of the bubble during the pandemic, there is a strong connection between the league and the former Iger. But also: There is a friendship between Iger and the Suns guard Chris Paul, and in that, the name Iger makes the most logical of these names.
Oracle Chairman and Co-Founder Larry Ellison: He thought he was about to buy Golden State Warriors in 2010 before current owner Joe Lacob stepped in and got it cheaper. Ellison is one of the 10 richest people in the world with a net worth of $106 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Founder and President of Emerson Collective Laurene Powell JobsWidow of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, she has a 20% stake in the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals ownership group.
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