Jeff Bezos and Bob Iger are among the names associated with the interest in buying the Suns from Robert Sarver

The Phoenix Suns The Mercury is officially on sale.

So who will buy them?

After an NBA investigation uncovered a pattern of racist and misogynistic behavior from The team’s controlling owner, Robert Sarver, announced on Wednesday He started the process of finding a buyer. Sarver’s decision follows a public and financial pressure campaign to keep him out of the NBA.

LeBron James and Chris Paul led player movement last week In criticism of the NBA’s one-year ban And the $10 million fine for Sarver not enough. while, Company partner PayPal pledge to cut ties and ending its multimillion-dollar sponsorship of the Suns for as long as Sarver is still around.

So Sarver came out. Or at least on his way. Now comes the process of finding a new owner. Some heavy hitters are said to be interested. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, former Disney CEO Bob Iger, and former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and Washington Wizards Minority owner Lauren Jobs – the widow of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs – is expected to throw their hat into the ring.

Of course there can only be one controlling owner. Who will be Sarver’s decision in the end. Per ESPN’s Baxter HolmesSarver’s ownership stake in The Suns is about a third but as a managing partner, he controls the sales process. The NBA didn’t strip him of that control.

Logic dictates that Suns go to the highest bidder regardless of who is responsible for the sale. With the names involved, this price tag promises to be profitable. Bezos, for example, is the third richest man in the world It is valued at $146.9 billion as of last week.

Meanwhile, Forbes estimated in 2021 that Then the wealth of the sun was $ 1.8 billion. But the price promises to exceed this figure in a competitive sales market with good bidders. Are you getting close to $3 billion?

April 19, 2022;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver against the New Orleans Pelicans during Game Two of the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs at the Footprint Center.  Mandatory credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Sarver will leave the NBA with lucrative salaries. (Mark J. Rebelas/Reuters)

former Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling who was kicked out of the NBA Amid a long-standing pattern of racist behaviour, it is likened to parallels with Sarver. His wife, Shelley Sterling, oversaw the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. That was in 2014. Prices have gone up since then.

Since then, the Houston Rockets It sold for $2.2 billion. tycoon alibaba Joe Tsai reset the market in 2019 With $2.35 billion buying a majority stake Brooklyn Networks And the Barclays Center from Mikhail Prokhorov. That was for the remaining 51% of the team he didn’t already own, putting the nets’ full purchase value About $3.3 billion when calculating debt.

But that was for the New York team. Since then, small market teams have sold for less than $2 billion. Utah Jazz sold for $1.66 billion In 2020 while Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx sold for $1.5 billion in 2021. Suns’ biggest market amid an always-hot sports franchise market – see Denver Broncos sold $4.65 billion in June – He promised to bring more. Whatever the price, it will exceed a lot Sarver Group spent 401 million dollars to buy The Suns in 2004.

Sarver may be leaving the NBA a pariah. But he will do it for a great pay.

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