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Preliminary Look at Potential Buyers

With the news that the NBA will hold a vote that may force Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers, who could be a potential buyer?


Now that the NBA has placed a lifetime ban upon Donald Sterling, they will hold a vote to force him to sell the Clippers.  Currently, all of the other 29 owners have spoken out in support of the NBA's sanctions and against Donald Sterling's words.  It seems inevitable that as soon as a vote can be held, Sterling will finally be ousted as owner of the Clippers.

"I am banning Mr. Sterling... for life."  -Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner

So, once the NBA passes the vote to force sale of the team, who will be the Clippers next owner?  The five names linked so far are David Geffen, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Larry Ellison, Rick Caruso, and Magic Johnson (and his Guggenheim partners).

David Geffen was linked as a potential buyer for the franchise in 2010, and it is not surprising that he is interested in the Clippers now that the team is actually, you know, for sale. 

Geffen, a 71-year-old Malibu resident, is the cofounder of Dreamworks and is worth approximately $6.2 billion

Patrick Soon-Shiong is the richest man in Los Angeles with a net worth of $9.8 billion.  He is in the pharmaceuticals business and is 62 years old.

Larry Ellison is the 5th richest man in the world at $49.3 billion.  He is the CEO and founder of Oracle, a software and programming company.  Ellison lives and works in the Bay Area, and previously attempted to buy the Golden State Warriors.  He has stated his desire to move a team to San Jose, but considering the Clippers' financial stability in Los Angeles and their 10-year lease with the Staples center, it seems highly unlikely that a move is coming.  If Ellison wants the team, he'll have to accept that he can't bring them north.

Rick Caruso has also been linked with a potential desire to buy the Clippers.  He attempted to purchase the Dodgers a couple of years ago but was unable to compete with other offers.  According to Forbes, Caruso is not a billionaire, so unless he puts together a large group it seems highly unlikely that he could afford the Clippers.

Magic Johnson is the most recognizable and appealing name on the list.  Along with the Guggenheim partners, Johnson also owns the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The group payed 2.15 billion dollars for LA's baseball team, and it seems highly unlikely that they would need that much to also secure LA's best basketball franchise.