May 20, 2010, 11:19 AM EDT
Ever since Bill Davidson passed away, it was assumed that his widow Karen would sell the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment, the company that runs the team its arena The Palace in Auburn Hills.
She said before she was exploring it, but she told the Detroit Free Press that the team is now officially for sale. Citigroup has been brought in to assess the fair value of the franchise, but Forbes estimated it at $479 million. Anything near that price would be a league record for the highest priced team sale (currently $401 million for the Phoenix Suns).
The only issue: Who wants to buy the team?
Apparently not Michael Ilitch, the pizza magnate who already owns the Tigers and Red Wings. A Detroit News story (via TrueHoop) details that corporate fighting between Palace Sports and Entertainment and Ilitch Holdings. That was behind a couple recent firings of long-time Pistons employees, and means the two likely cannot get together on a sale.
The Detroit News speculates at other owners who may have interest.
There are two men with Detroit ties who might be interested in buying the Pistons. Compuware owner Peter Karmanos has the cash and the incentive. His company headquarters is downtown and a downtown sports arena would benefit him and heighten his profile.
The other is Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. He cannot own two NBA teams, but Gilbert, an MSU graduate, might try to sell the Cavaliers if superstar LeBron James bolts for another team. In the past, he has expressed an interest in owning the Pistons.
All Karen Davidson said is that there is interest. There is no timeline, this sale could drag out a while.
- Victor Oladipo out indefinitely after taking elbow in practice, suffering facial fracture 6
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: New Orleans Pelicans 2
- Five teams poised to make a big leap forward this season 3
- Steve Nash to miss entire 2014-15 season with ongoing back injuries 58
- Jeanie Buss: ‘Any free agent that would be afraid to play with Kobe Bryant is probably a loser’ 67
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Memphis Grizzlies 7
- Five top candidates for NBA Rookie of the Year 30
- NBA GMs surveyed predict LeBron will win MVP, Spurs will repeat as champions 31