Written By: Parker Lovett
(Photo: Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports)
Leslie Alexander, citing age concerns, announced on Monday that he is selling the franchise after 24 years.
The decision is shocking as the Rockets are now the first team on the market since the Clippers (2 Billion) and Bucks (550 million) sold in 2014. In the last three years the NBA landscape has changed and franchise values have risen. Ink from the league’s massive new TV contract has barely dried, and interest in owning a lucrative NBA franchise is abundant.
The Rockets are in a large city, have fantastic General Manager Daryl Morey, and just signed superstar James Harden to the 5 year “supermax” contract extension. All of those factors should lead to a potentially record setting profit for Alexander, who purchased the Rockets for 85 million in 1993.
The league is starting to see a newer wave of owners from the tech industry, joining a club previously occupied largely by investment bankers and venture capitalists. Perhaps the trend will continue with some of the new wealth from Silicon Valley, or maybe Rockets legend Dikembe Mutombo can put together an offer to purchase the team.
New ownership will have to pay a hefty price, but they will walk into a well-established organization with major benefits and upside.