Chris Paul has had standout seasons with the Suns. (File photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)
Suns will be sold for record-breaking $4 billion
The Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Mercury will be sold for a record price of $4 billion, according to ESPN. Mat Ishbia, chairman and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage and a national champion on Michigan State’s basketball team in 2000, is finalizing the purchase of the two teams.
The Suns being sold will end the controversial tenure of owner Robert Sarver. Ishbia, at 42, will be the youngest NBA team owner.
The deal would dwarf the previous record paid for an NBA team. Joe Tsai bought the Brooklyn Nets for an NBA-record $2.35 billion in 2019. Prior to that sale, Tilman Fertitta purchased the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017 and Steve Ballmer bought the LA Clippers for $2 billion in 2014.
Sarver announced in September that he was selling both the Suns and Mercury. The announcement came after the NBA suspended Sarver fore one year and fined him $10 million. The punishment came as a result of the league’s investigation into the Suns franchise. The NBA commissioned an investigation after ESPN published a story in November 2021 detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during the 17 years Robert Sarver has owned the Suns.
“Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men’s and women’s basketball,” Sarver said in a statement. “I want what’s best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.”