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Report: Suns' Valuation Projected to Be Over $3 Billion Ahead of Impending Sale

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 28, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 13: Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center on October 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Mercury defeated the Sky 91-86 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly expected to sell for more than $3 billion amid the pending sale by disgraced governor Robert Sarver.

Baxter Holmes and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported the valuation, which would be the second-highest sale price for a sports franchise in history. The Denver Broncos sold earlier this year for $4.65 billion, blowing past the previous mark of $2.4 billion, which was set by the New York Mets in 2020.

Sarver announced his intention to sell the Suns and WNBA's Phoenix Mercury amid widespread public and private pressure from sponsors, NBA players and Commissioner Adam Silver.

In his statement announcing the pending sales process, Sarver cast blame on an "unforgiving" cultural climate.

"As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path to forgiveness," Sarver said in the statement. "I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past."

The NBA initially suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million after an independent investigation found he used racial slurs, bullied employees, engaged in inequitable treatment of female employees and ran a hostile work environment during his tenure with the franchise. Sarver purchased the Suns in 2004.

Public outcry was immediate, with a near-universal agreement that the NBA did not hand down a substantial enough punishment. LeBron James, Draymond Green and Chris Paul were among the prominent NBA voices to criticize the league's handling of Sarver.

Holmes and Shelburne reported Silver privately felt he may have mishandled the situation amid the wave of backlash.

Behind the scenes, mechanisms were being put into place to force Sarver out. Several sponsors said they were weighing their future dealings with the Suns, and jersey sponsor PayPal said it would not renew its deal if Sarver remained with the franchise after his suspension.

Silver was also reportedly in communication with Sarver, selling him on the idea that selling the franchise was in his and the league's best interest.

In the end, Sarver will net a massive profit despite exiting the NBA in disgrace. It's a virtual certainty that he will make more than $2 billion on his initial $400 million purchase price.

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