Grizzlies being sold, will be kept in Memphis thankfully
After two consecutive trips to the playoffs and a return to respectability in the Western Conference, Michael Heisley has at last found a buyer to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies, confirming an earlier ESPN.com report, announced Monday that Heisley has entered into a sale agreement with Robert J. Pera, founder and CEO of the Ubiquiti Networks and who, at 34, earned a spot on Forbes' list of the 10 youngest billionaires in the world.
The purchase price is in the $350 million range, sources said Monday. NBA Board of Governors approval is required before Pera can be officially installed as successor to Heisley, who recently turned 75, but sources briefed on the negotiations told ESPN.com that Heisley received an eight-figure deposit from Pera on Monday to start that process.
Sources close to the process say that Pera has never mentioned trying to move the team out of Memphis. The reality, though, is that the Grizzlies' lease at the FedExForum would make relocation difficult and expensive under any circumstances, thanks to a lease that binds the franchise to the arena until the year 2021, with steep financial penalties triggered by breaking that lease.