A new era of Phoenix Suns basketball is
nearly upon us!
**Update: Mat Isbhia’s purchase of the Phoenix Suns for a $4 billion valuation — more than $2 billion in cash — has been approved unanimously (with one abstention) by all the other NBA owners.
The following has been released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/rdp1b5J2fv— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) February 7, 2023
Reportedly, one owner abstained from voting — Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers — while all the others approved. Ishbia, at 42 years old, is now the youngest NBA owner.
The Cleveland Cavaliers abstained from the vote to approve Ishbia, sources confirmed to ESPN. (Cavs owner Dan Gilbert runs Rocket Mortgage and Ishbia runs United Wholesale Mortgage. The two companies have history -- and a fierce rivalry.) https://t.co/SGTMB6Ows1— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) February 7, 2023
Mat Ishbia’s transaction for the purchase of the Phoenix Suns is expected to finalize by the close of business Tuesday, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro. It will become the largest sale in NBA history once completed.
The sale of the Suns will see Robert Sarver sell all 37% of his shares with another shareholder selling its entire stake of 6%. 3 owners are not selling any shares - total 22%. The remaining 9 partners are selling 25% of their shares. Mat Ishbia & his brother will own 57% of team— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 7, 2023
Only one other shareholder, an outfit called Dyal HomeCourt Partners, is selling its entire stake 6%— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 7, 2023
Here’s Gambo’s full story today.
Full report can be read here: Mat Ishbia’s purchase of Phoenix Suns set to be complete by Tuesday
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes initially reported that Ishbia’s introductory press conference is slated for the morning of February 8th, which lines up with the finalization by the end of the business day tomorrow.
The timing of the move is absolutely crucial with the NBA trade deadline coming this Thursday afternoon. Certain deals for the Suns could alter their luxury tax bill, and Mat Ishbia signing off on a larger payment gives Phoenix more possibilities in potential trade negotiations.
Removing Sarver from the situation ahead of the deadline was always the best case scenario, and it has come into fruition in an expedited process.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Ishbia is “eager to start his involvement with basketball operations and is expected to be a hands-on owner in matters of team building.”
Mat and his brother, Justin, are expected to own 57% of the team for a payment that values the Suns at a whopping $4 billion.
Three minority owners from the Suns’ current ownership group, including Jahm Najafi, will not be selling any of their shares.
Gambo reports that many of the remaining partners, however, are selling 25% of their stakes, which will triple their initial investments, and that only one minority owner has sold the entirety of their stake.
Soon-to-be former owner Robert Sarver owned 37% of the team, putting his outgoing check around ~$1.5 billion.
In additional Suns news, Baxter Holmes reported earlier today that President and CEO Jason Rowley resigned from the team. Rowley had been the Suns’ president and CEO since 2012 and was at the center of workplace misconduct allegations.
Phoenix Suns president and CEO Jason Rowley has resigned from the team, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/yuhWDCBjsV— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) February 6, 2023
Ishbia will likely bring in his own flavor and personality into the Suns’ front office with external hires to help continue to improve the culture and workplace.
Some notable names have already leaked out, and we should learn more in the coming days as the sale gets finalized and during his press conference on Wednesday.