With the NBA season set to start next week, one of the most pressing questions in professional basketball is who will become the next owner of the Phoenix Suns.
The team's current majority owner, Robert Sarver, said Wednesday he's selling the franchise along with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. His announcement comes one week after an NBA investigation found that Sarver used racially insensitive language, made sex-related remarks to female employees, and repeatedly berated other Suns and Mercury staff. Sarver, a real estate developer from Arizona, has been suspended from the NBA for a year and fined $10 million.
It is rare for NBA teams to go on the auction block. When they do, they fetch big bucks: Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 for $2 billion; Tilman Fertitta bought the Houston Rockets for a then-record $2.2 billion in 2017; Joe Tsai bought the Brooklyn Nets for $2.3 billion in 2019; and the Minnesota Timberwolves were sold to Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez last year for $1.5 billion.