If Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is ever looking to get rid of the franchise, LeBron James will gladly take it off his hands.
“I know how much the team cost when he bought it,” James told The Athletic. “And I know how much it’s worth now — over $1 billion if he wanted it.”
Gilbert purchased the Cavs for $375 million in 2005. The league has exploded financially since. While Gilbert certainly could clear at least $1 billion for the Cavs, James can’t get all of the credit for that because franchises across the league are more valuable after the outrageous television contract that went into effect last season. . . .
“To be an owner of any team would be crazy. If this thing opened up and I’m in a position financially, and I’ve got the right team around me, obviously. But who’s to say Dan will (sell)?” James said. “I’ve always kept it just player/owner at this point. I guess once I come down to that point, if the conversation needed to be had, I’ll have it. But I don’t have it right now.”
LeBron’s interest in owning an NBA team is hardly surprising. He’s always had grand off-court, post-playing ambitions. Plus, Michael Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets. He has to match and exceed everything MJ does in life, obviously.
Purchasing the Cavaliers won’t be easy. Let’s say Gilbert decides to sell it. Forbes valued them at $1.2 billion last February. LeBron, for all his revenue streams, isn’t worth that much. Most think he’ll be worth a billion bucks before he turns 40, which is spectacular. But it’ll take more than that to buy the Cavaliers—or, for that matter, any NBA squad.
Perhaps LeBron starts off small, going in with a group. He’s quite the businessman, after all. Maybe he would be satisfied owning a small stake in the Cavs or something. Whatever the circumstances and terms, it feels like he’ll end up financially invested in an NBA franchise someday, be it one in Cleveland or elsewhere.