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Talks with “handful” of potential Hornets buyers to start soon

Sep 15, 2011, 10:44 AM EDT

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The NBA’s economic model is so broken that wealthy potential owners of new franchises keep lining up despite the league being locked out.

That includes people willing to buy and keep the New Orleans Hornets in the Crescent City, despite that having been a tough NBA market for decades.

Talks with potential owners are going to start soon, said NBA appointed head honcho Jack Sperling in talks with the Associated Press.

The NBA’s appointed governor of the league-owned New Orleans Hornets said Wednesday that he is nearly ready to begin negotiations with “a handful” of potential buyers who have expressed interest in purchasing the club and keeping it in Louisiana.

“We have improved the financial situation of the team, and now we’re getting ready to start to talk, to have serious dialogues … with potential buyers,” Sperling said Wednesday night while attending a social event aimed at boosting community support.

Question number one for any new ownership group will be can they keep Chris Paul — the point guard that is not only the team’s best player but also the face of its marketing and biggest draw at the gate. He can opt out after next season to become a free agent. He will have options.

And in spite of that potential new owner are lined up. How bad an economic model can the NBA really have?

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