It’s hard to say where owner Robert Sarver’s path to selling the Phoenix Suns and Mercury goes or how long it will take.
He announced Wednesday that he was looking for a buyer for the franchises after a week of mounting pressure from the NBA to do more than suspend Sarver for a year. He 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 like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Draymond Green, along with a threat from Suns sponsor PayPal, were key moments that ultimately led Sarver to decide to sell before camps opened. training starting next week.
“He was going to get a lot of extra heat from the players once the players were talking,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said. Bickley and Marotta of Arizona Sports Thursday.
The Suns’ sell sign is expected to generate a lot of interest, but it’s important to note that Sarver — despite his suspension — holds control over who ultimately buys the team.
While Forbes last season valued the Suns at $1.8 billion — Sarver bought the team in 2004 for $401 million — the sale price could be much higher.
“I think it’s going to blow that out of the water,” Windhorst said. “I think it will be well over $2 billion. I think you will have several bidders.
“I think this is going to be a very hot property. A lot of owners, they live on the coasts and they want to be able to join their teams. »
Windhorst ESPN colleague Ramona Shelburne thinks the Suns could even be sold for $3-4 billion.
Between them, a few very wealthy people appeared as potential buyers.
do you go to a third party do you have to offer insiders or do they have the right to match a third party offer in the deal. When Jerry Colangelo sold the team to Robert there was no professional broker, but many sales are now used with a broker to maximize auction value/adjustment.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) September 21, 2022
While not outright reports, the names indicate the expected potential for a historic buyout for the NBA and WNBA franchises.
A few names have been thrown around by Shelburne and Windhorst in the last 24 hours:
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon: Yes, the second richest man in the world ($171 billion), according to Forbes.
Former Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger: As we know from ESPN’s relationship with the NBA, not to mention Disney World’s hosting of the bubble during the pandemic, there is a strong connection between the league and Iger’s former company. But also: there is a friendship between Iger and Suns goaltender Chris Paul, and in this, the name Iger has the most meaning among these names.
Oracle President and Co-Founder Larry Ellison: He thought he was close to buying the Golden State Warriors in 2010 before current owner Joe Lacob stepped in and got him for a cheaper price. Ellison is one of the 10 richest people in the world with a net worth of $106 billion, according to Forbes.
Founder and President of Emerson Collective Laurene Powell Jobs: Widow of co-founder and former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, she has a 20% stake in the ownership group of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.