There are six investors considered to be serious bidders for the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN. Among them: former NBA All-Star Grant Hill.
ESPN has learned there are six serious bidders thus far for the Clippers. Shelly Sterling not using an investment bank to handle the sale
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 26, 2014
Hill, 41, along with billionaire investors and longtime Southern California residents Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh, have formed an ownership group to make a bid on the Clippers, who are set to be put up for sale soon.
Per the report, Hill’s group is considered “a viable contender” for the team in what is expected to be a highly competitive action. ESPN projects that the bidding will begin as high as $1.5 billion.
Hill is one year removed from his retirement after a 19-year pro career, with his last team being the Clippers. Ressler is the co-founder of Ares Management and a minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Karsh is the president and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management and is a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors.
According to ESPN NBA insider Marc Stein, the bidding war should be “fierce.”
Competition for the Clippers, once they hit the open market, is sure to be fierce, with a number of financial heavyweights having already been linked to purchasing the team Donald Sterling has owned since 1981.
Hill’s investment group is expected to see competition from five other serious bidders, including other major NBA figureheads. Former NBA center Yao Ming is expected to make a bid on the team, as is Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners, who own other Los Angeles franchises such as the Dodgers and Spark. In addition, Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen, and Larry Ellison; former Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmet; Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso; and Lakers minority owner Patrick Soon-Shiong are expected to have an interest in buying the Clippers.
Ming’s name surfaced over the weekend as a potential buyer. Ming could pursue the Clippers with a group of Chinese investors. He already owners the Shanghai Sharks of China and reportedly had an interest in buying the Milwaukee Bucks last year.