2:24pm: Allen denied the report on his Twitter account, tweeting, "It is absolutely false that I have entertained offers for @pdxtrailblazers. Unnamed sources are wrong as usual. Why don’t reporters check?"
1:19pm: Approximately six years after he put the Trail Blazers on the market in 2006, team owner Paul Allen is once again listening to offers to sell the team, reports Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW.com. At least two groups have expressed serious interest in buying the franchise, according to Jaynes. Blazers officials and team president Larry Miller have denied any knowledge of discussions with prospective buyers.
"My reaction is that I know absolutely nothing about that," Miller said. "I have no knowledge of any groups that have been talking to anyone down here, that’s for sure. I would assume if that were the case I would know about it…. In the past, when Paul was thinking about it, I was in the loop. But that went away. Could there be something going on? Maybe… but I don't think so."
As Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge points out, Allen himself said earlier this season that he has no interest in selling the team. However, he included a caveat along with those comments:
"My health is a factor, other things are factors," said Allen. "I think at some point if I felt things were getting stale or if we were going to be a lottery team forever, we went through a rebuilding process. Some of those years are tough, when you're winning 20-some games or whatever, those are tough years. If I felt like we were going right back into that, that would be a challenge."
The Blazers appear ticketed for the lottery this season, and still have plenty of uncertainty in the front office. But with the potential to own a pair of top-ten picks in June's draft, it hardly looks as if they'll be "a lottery team forever."
According to Jaynes' report, one of the two groups interested in the Blazers is thought to be based out of Los Angeles, while the other one is local. Neither group has interest in moving the team out of Portland — the club's lease ensures that the Blazers can't be moved through 2023. Jaynes speculates that a realistic sale price for the franchise could fall in the $400MM range.