Suns Notes: Purchase Price, Sarver, Roster, Rowley

Now that Suns majority owner Robert Sarver has officially announced his intention to sell the team following a year-long investigation into decades of workplace misconduct, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic examines how much a desirable, championship-caliber NBA franchise like the Suns might cost a potential buyer. Sarver will also be selling the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

According to Vorkunov, an “early high-end estimate” for the Suns and Mercury could be $3 billion or more. As Vorkunov explains, there are several factors that could push the sale price well beyond the latest valuations (around $1.8 or $1.9 billion), including a belief that the big-market team hasn’t been run especially well under Sarver. As the controlling owner for both clubs, Sarver will earn the biggest slice of the pie, whatever its ultimate price turns out to be.

There’s more out of Phoenix:

  • Though the departure of Sarver is an encouraging step for the Suns and the league at large, Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated writes that, because he’s ultimately departing without being forced by the league’s other owners and is set to become potentially billions of dollars richer in his exit, the disgraced team owner’s “punishment” doesn’t feel like real justice.
  • The Suns will have some issues to address on the court this season beyond the off-court Sarver drama that is now mostly behind them, opines David Aldridge of The Athletic. Potential chemistry issues between head coach Monty Williams and re-signed starting center Deandre Ayton and the disappointing playoff finishes of All-Star guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker are the chief puzzles facing the team itself heading into the 2022/23 season. Phoenix will have to contend with a crowded Western Conference this year, and will face an uphill battle to return to the NBA Finals.
  • Suns CEO Jason Rowley addressed staff members during a conversation with all the team’s employees on Wednesday, reports Baxter Holmes of ESPN. Rowley indicated during the call that interim governor Sam Garvin would stay on in that position while the sale of the team was underway, and that Sarver would have no involvement with anyone in the organization, per the terms of the one-year suspension. “I’m beyond happy, I’m empowered and I’m motivated to continue to ensure that all of the men in that organization still in power who upheld this culture are rooted out,” said one Suns employee who took part in the investigation that would ultimately lead to Sarver’s decision to sell.
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