Details in bold emerge from Phoenix Suns sales

NBA Analytics Network

A new era has dawned for the Phoenix Suns and the NBA. One announcement is expected to come as early as Tuesday that the WNBA’s Suns and Phoenix Mercury have been officially sold, ending Robert Sarver’s tumultuous era as owner.

Mat Ishbia, a billionaire mortgage lender, reportedly struck a deal to buy the teams for a record $4 billion. A background check and board vote are still pending, but that is expected to be just a formality as Ishbia has already established a relationship with some of the league’s owners and commissioner, Adam Silver.

It will be a family affair as Mat’s brother, Justin Ishbia, will be the team’s deputy governor. Justin is the founder of Shore Capital and will also make a major investment in the franchise.

Prices for NBA franchises continue to rise as the league becomes a global entity. The last franchise to sell was the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, with Joe Tsai buying them for a record $2.35 billion. The last three purchases before the Suns all went for at least $2 billion, starting with the LA Clippers in 2014 by Steve Ballmer and Tilman Fertitta in 2017, who bought the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Robert Sarver, Mat Ishbia & Phoenix Suns Updates

Sarver had owned the Suns since 2004 when he led a group that bought the team from Jerry Colangelo for $410 million, which was also a record at the time. The sale process began on September 21 as Sarver came under intense pressure following the NBA’s findings in its investigation into allegations of racism and misogyny during Sarver’s time as owner.

Many people were disappointed with the sentence handed down to Sarver, who was fined $10 million and given a one-year suspension. The negative backlash was a driving force behind his decision to sell, as many companies backed out of deals as long as Sarver was associated with the franchise in any way.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Robert Sarver, Mat Ishbia & Phoenix Suns Updates

This is a step in the right direction for a Suns franchise that has been black eyed by Sarver’s doings. Allegations of misconduct extend beyond Sarver within the franchise, so hopefully Ishbia and group can help turn things around and improve the Suns’ reputation going forward with new people in power.

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