Dan Gilbert may eventually sell his stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise and purchase the Detroit Pistons. Would he sell his stock in the Cavs to the face of the franchise, LeBron James, when the latter’s playing days are over?
The idea of Lebron James owning an NBA team isn’t a novel one nor is Dan Gilbert’s affinity for his hometown of Detroit, Michigan a secret. The question of whether or not Gilbert would sell the Cleveland Cavaliers in order to buy the Detroit Pistons is a novel idea, however.
Pistons owner Tom Gores owns 100.0 percent of the Detroit Pistons. After initially purchasing 51.0 percent of the team at $325 million, a bargain, Gores purchased the remaining 49.0 percent of the team from his firm, Platinum Equity.
While there’s no evidence that Gores wants to sell his team, Gores made his fortune by buying low and selling high. Gilbert, who is the CEO of Quicken Loans, a company who headquarters are in Detroit, has been developing land in Detroit for years and doing his part to heal a once-ailing economy by bringing new building and new jobs into the area. With a net worth of $4.9 billion, according to Forbes, Gilbert has a net worth $1.6 billion higher than Gores. To think that he wouldn’t be interested in purchasing the Detroit Pistons as they move downtown and would be unable to is foolhardy.
So is thinking that Gores wouldn’t bite on a deal if Gilbert’s price was high enough.
A big coup for Gilbert would be selling the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are currently valued at $1.1 billion before buying the Detroit Pistons. This way, Gilbert doesn’t lose much, if anything, in the transaction. Gores becomes almost a billion dollars richer.
However, who would purchase the Cleveland Cavaliers?
Names like Warren Buffett instantly come to mind, however, he’s more likely to be a part of a purchasing team than a majority stakeholder. Especially after James, Cleveland’s biggest spectacle, stops hanging his jerseys up in the locker room and has his jersey hung up in the rafters.
Instead, it may James himself who’s the most likely to buy the team from Gilbert. Currently valued at $275 million, James is a successful entrepreneur and a NBA legend who can demand a salary of $209 million in his next contract. By the time he can sign that contract, James will already have a net worth of over $300 million by the time he can sign a max deal. Meaning, in seven years, James will be worth at least $500 million without even factoring in his revenue from his stocks in various companies such as Blaze Pizza and SpringHill Entertainment.
James could even be part of a two-man purchasing team with Warren Buffett, a man who he’s genuinely friends with. James and Buffett assuming complete control of the Cleveland Cavaliers operations would be great for Cleveland. Between James’ basketball and business acumen and Buffett’s status as one of the most knowledgeable minds in the business world, the city and the franchise will have an exciting future.
Buffett would likely be even more inclined to help knowing it’s a good investment for himself as well as a move that would help his other friend, Dan Gilbert, buy the Detroit Pistons from Tom Gores.
While this isn’t a move that’s likely to happen anytime soon, it’s a possibility to watch out for.
Do you think Dan Gilbert would sell the Cleveland Cavaliers? Would he sell the team to LeBron James? Do you thin Warren Buffett would be interested in helping either side? Let us know in the comments section or Twitter @KJG_NBA.