Miriam Adelson

Southwest Notes: Cuban, Doncic, Sengun, Pelicans, Spurs

Confirming prior reporting from Forbes, Marc Stein (Substack link) cites sources who say that Mark Cuban‘s sale agreement with Miriam Adelson and Patrick Dumont stipulates that the Mavericks‘ new majority owners have the option to buy an additional 20% of the franchise in four years.

For the time being, Cuban has retained control of 27% of the team and reportedly still maintains a voice in the personnel decisions, though he’s no longer the final decision-maker. However, if Adelson and Dumont exercise that option a few years from now, the extra shares would come out of Cuban’s stake in the team, reducing his holdings to below 10%.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Luka Doncic likely won’t finish higher than second in MVP voting this season, but the fact that he’s legitimately in the conversation is more important to the Mavericks than him actually winning the award, opines Tim Cato of The Athletic. As Cato explains, this version of Doncic raises Dallas’ ceiling and makes the team a bona fide contender.
  • Alperen Sengun (ankle/knee) won’t return for either of the Rockets‘ final two games of the season, Kelly Iko of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter). Sengun is a candidate for this year’s Most Improved Player award, but because he only appeared in 63 games, an independent doctor would need to rule that his injury is likely to sideline him through at least May 31 in order for him to be eligible for award consideration.
  • Although New Orleans has yet to clinch its playoff spot, the team looks better than it has in years and is on track to win the most games it has in a season since being rebranded as the Pelicans in 2013. James Herbert of CBS Sports checks in on the Pelicans to get a sense of why this year’s team is more dangerous than the one we’ve seen in recent seasons, as well as what the next steps are for the franchise.
  • Victor Wembanyama has been everything the Spurs hoped he’d be in his first year in the NBA and figures to only get better going forward, but will San Antonio be able to build a contender around the young star? Isaac Levy-Rubinett of The Ringer explores that question, considering the players the Spurs already have on their roster, their draft assets, and a potential trade target.

Southwest Notes: Morant, Smart, Cuban, Rockets, More

With Ja Morant poised to return from his 25-game suspension on Tuesday night vs. New Orleans, the Grizzlies‘ season is on the brink, as Morant’s absence and a plethora of injuries have created what Derrick Rose referred to as a “quagmire situation,” according to Baxter Holmes and Tim MacMahon of ESPN. As Holmes and MacMahon detail, “frustration has simmered” within the organization about the direction of the season, which has opened with 19 losses in 25 games.

But Morant’s teammates were all smiles on Monday as they discussed the point guard’s impending return, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The club’s top two scorers this season, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr., have faced a level of defensive attention they’re not accustomed to, and they’re looking forward to sharing the court with a player like Morant, who will be able to divert much of that attention.

“(Morant) is going to have to deal with that,” Jackson said. “He’s going to have to turn left and turn right and see three dudes so that I can do what I do. He’s an All-NBA, Hall of Fame-type player, so you’re going to have to pay attention and if you do that, we’re going to punish you.”

Although Morant hasn’t suited up for the Grizzlies since April, the club has been ramping up his workload in practice and doesn’t anticipate imposing any real limitations on his playing time in his return, Cole notes.

“He’s going to play pretty significant minutes,” head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “… I won’t anticipate going crazy with his minutes, but I don’t think it’s any kind of restriction.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart, who hasn’t played since November 14 due to a left foot sprain, is getting very close to returning to action, Cole writes in another Commercial Appeal story. “Marcus is really close,” Jenkins said. “… Somewhere in that Indiana (Thursday) and Atlanta (Saturday) time frame, we’re hopeful that he’ll be back in the lineup then.”
  • Following up on the Maverickssale ahead of the Board of Governors vote, Marc Stein says on Substack that Mark Cuban will retain a 27% stake in the franchise. Stein indicates that the new owners – the Miriam Adelson/Patrick Dumont group – will therefore have a 73% controlling interest, but there have been conflicting reports on whether every single one of the minority stakeholders are being bought out.
  • The Rockets‘ closing lineup has been far less predictable than its starting group, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required), who examines head coach Ime Udoka‘s tendency to go with the hot hands down the stretch of games. “That’s what I believe in,” Udoka said. “I pretty much said that the day I was hired. Minutes and roles are not going to be handed out. The guys that are playing well and units that are playing well are going to get those minutes. I think everybody knows that across the board.”
  • William Guillory of The Athletic takes a look at the similarities between Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Spurs big man Victor Wembanyama, two No. 1 picks who were expected to be saviors for their respective Southwest clubs as soon as they entered the NBA, exploring how they’ve dealt with those expectations.

Vote On Mavericks Sale Reportedly Set For December 20

A vote on the proposed sale of the Mavericks to the Adelson and Dumont families will take place next week, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. A source familiar with the sale informs Townsend that commissioner Adam Silver has notified the 30 members of the league’s Board of Governors that the vote will be taken at a December 20 meeting.

Townsend’s source also says there will be only two parties remaining as shareholders once the sale is finalized. The Adelsons and Dumonts will serve as majority owners, with Mark Cuban holding a “sizeable stake” as the minority owner.

That means the five current minority owners have decided to cash out, Townsend explains. That list includes two previous majority owners, Ross Perot Jr. and the family of franchise co-founder Donald Carter.

Scheduling the vote indicates that the league has already finished vetting the new ownership group, which is led by Sands Corp. majority shareholder Miriam Adelson and her son-in-law, Patrick Dumont, who is president of the Sands Corp., Townsend adds.

The new owners are expected to be approved by a comfortable margin, according to Townsend. He notes that Adelson and Dumont have an estimated worth of about $33 billion, which would rank them among the wealthiest owners in U.S. professional sports, trailing only Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and the Walton family, which owns the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

The Adelson-Dumont family will need support from at least three-fourths of the Board of Governors for the sale to be approved.

Mavericks Notes: Cuban, Adelson, Kidd, Doncic, Exum

Mark Cuban reportedly has no plans to exit the basketball side of business despite selling a majority stake of the Mavericks to the Adelson family. Appearing on the Brian Windhorst podcast, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon pointed out that the deal is a big win for Cuban, who gets to both cash in on the franchise and maintain some say in basketball operations.

I don’t know exactly what the language is in the purchase agreement, but one thing I have been told, and the exact word I heard is Cuban will have basketball operations for, quote, ‘forevermore,’” MacMahon said (hat tip to RealGM). “I assume that is agreed to in writing.

It was reported Tuesday that the Adelson family is in the process of buying a major share in the franchise. Cuban is selling the majority stake to billionaire Miriam Adelson – widow of late businessman Sheldon Adelson – and the Adelson family for a valuation in the range of $3.5 billion. Cuban bought the Mavericks for $285MM in 2000.

We have more from the Mavericks:

  • Miriam Adelson is one of the richest women in the world and is adding Mavericks owner to a résumé that includes casino mogul, GOP power broker and United States and Israel newspaper owner, as explored by AP’s Ken Ritter. Adelson is selling $2 billion in stock of casino company Las Vegas Sands Corp., but will still be a majority shareholder. The $3.5 billion purchase of the Mavericks would make Adelson one of just a handful of female U.S. professional sports franchise owners. According to Ritter, her net worth of $32 billion makes her the fifth-richest woman in the U.S. and the 35th-richest billionaire in the world. Adelson has spoken highly of Cuban in the past. “A good person with good values, though he is totally opposite of us in his political views,” Adelson said.
  • Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd took issue with the tone of questions he received from reporters following Dallas’s Tuesday game against the Rockets (Twitter link via HoopsHype). “People will read your positive s–t,” Kidd said. “You don’t always have to be negative, right? Like the world’s already negative enough. So let’s see some positive stuff on some positive people that are playing, doing their job on a nightly basis.
  • Luka Doncic is missing his first game of the season for the birth of his daughter, Gabriela, who was announced to the world on Friday, according to The Dallas Morning News. Doncic is being designated as out for personal reasons for Friday’s game against the Grizzlies. Guard Dante Exum is also out for personal reasons for that matchup.

Latest On Potential Mavericks Sale

Sands Corp. president and chief operating officer Patrick Dumont, son-in-law of Miriam Adelson, will be the family’s “foremost member” if their purchase of the Mavericks is approved by the NBA, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column.

It’s still not fully clear how much power Mark Cuban will have once he becomes a minority owner, even though it was reported Tuesday that he will continue to run the team’s basketball operations. Stein notes that it’s an unprecedented arrangement, and the Adelson family may want some say in personnel moves once they’re writing the checks.

Stein points out that Cuban has already ceded some decision-making to Nico Harrison, who was hired as general manager in 2021, and CEO Cynthia Marshall, who has been handling business matters since 2018. Even so, Stein found it shocking that Cuban opted to sell the team, considering that he sits near the bench at most games, maintains a visible role in the war room on draft nights, and remains involved in most personnel decisions.

League sources tell Stein that Cuban plans to be “a very active partner” to the Adelsons on basketball matters while letting the family deal with television revenues, real estate ventures and similar issues.

There’s more from Dallas:

  • The Adelson family agreed to purchase the Mavericks with an eye toward legalizing casino gambling in Texas, according to an editorial from The Dallas Morning News. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has since died, focused on Texas two years ago as the primary spot for expansion, the editorial states. Lobbying money from the Adelson family and other gambling interests has poured into the state, helping to soften any opposition. Cuban is perfect as a “primary stakeholder,” the paper adds, because he has been an advocate for building a casino in downtown Dallas.
  • The Adelson and Dumont families have issued a statement regarding their purchase of the Mavericks, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Through our commitment and additional investment in the team, we look forward to partnering with Mark Cuban to build on the team’s success and legacy in Dallas and beyond,” it reads in part. “The goal is to win and to have a team that proudly represents the greater DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) area and serves as a strong and valuable member of the local community.” The families are hoping to close the sale by the end of December.
  • Last year, Cuban cited the Sands Corp. as his ideal partner for a casino and resort destination, per Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that the Mavericks can’t leave their current home at the American Airlines Center until their lease expires in 2031.

Mark Cuban To Sell Majority Stake Of Mavs, Retain Control Of Basketball Ops

Mark Cuban is selling a majority stake of the Mavericks franchise but in an unusual arrangement, he’ll retain full control of basketball operations.

The casino tycoon Adelson family is in the process of buying a major share in the franchise, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link). Cuban is selling the majority stake to billionaire Miriam Adelson – widow of late businessman Sheldon Adelson – and the Adelson family for a valuation in the range of $3.5 billion, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Cuban bought the Mavericks for $285MM in 2000.

In an SEC filing, Sheldon Adelson’s family said it is selling $1.9 billion in Las Vegas Sands stock to buy a “majority interest in a professional sports franchise.” It also stated that a deal is in place, pending league approval, Eben-Novy Williams of Sportico tweets. The sale of the Mavs would have to be approved by the league’s Board of Governors.

Earlier this year, Mat Ishbia and his group paid $2.28 billion for a 57% stake of the Suns. That’s the equivalent of a $4 billion valuation.

Cuban and the Las Vegas Sands Corporation had already planned to form a partnership to build an arena and casino in the Dallas area if gambling is legalized in Texas, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News notes.

“My goal, and we’d partner with Las Vegas Sands, is when we build a new arena it’ll be in the middle of a resort and casino,” Cuban said last year. “That’s the mission.”

Cuban, 65, is one of the most recognizable owners in any professional sport. He’s got a variety of business ventures and is the star of the TV show “Shark Tank,” though word broke on Monday that he’ll be leaving the ABC show next year.