Skip to main content

”There's only 8 truly incredible NBA franchises to own” — Bill Simmons explains his $4.7 billion prediction for the Phoenix Suns

If Simmons' prediction turns out to be correct, expect a few more teams becoming available for sale.
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns

After a lot of pressure from all sides, most importantly the sponsors, Robert Sarver decided to sell the Phoenix Suns (and Mercury). Ramona Shelbourne already mentioned the biggest names possible as potential bidders - Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, and Laurene Jobs, to name a few. The first predictions that came out had the Suns around $2.5 to $3 billion. The Ringer's Bill Simmons thinks it's gonna be a lot more than that. 

Only 8 franchises

The NBA expansion is only a matter of when at this point. We will soon have 32 teams in the league, and it seems Seattle and Las Vegas are going to be very happy. So in the near future, there are going to be 32 teams to own and a lot more billionaires that would like to have them. That's why the combination of a lot of people making absurd amounts of money in the last decade and not a lot of teams being up for sale, dramatically increased the price tag for an NBA team. 

  • The Rockets went for $2.2. billion in 2017
  • The Nets went for $2.35 billion; with the arena, it went up to around $3.4 billion in  2018
  • The Jazz went for $2 billion in 2020
  • The Wolves $1.5 billion in 2021

The Wolves didn't go for under $2 billion just because they are in Minnesota; it seems Glen Taylor really wanted to sell to A-Rod and threw in a discount to help him close the deal. Bill Simmons thinks the floor for an NBA team, any team, is $2 billion. If you don't have that, don't even try calling. But according to Simmons, there are only a handful of teams that are really worth having. 

There's only 8 truly incredible NBA franchises to own. The Lakers, the Knicks, the Warriors, the Bulls, the Celtics, the Mavericks. I would throw in the Heat because of the organization they built, the location, the fact they've always been able to get good players and there's just a ton of money in South Beach. That's seven, and the Suns are the eight. What's interesting about that? The Suns are the only ones that's going to be available out of those eight,” Simmons explained. 

The Boston sports guy pointed out he didn't have the Clippers or the Nets on the list despite the fact they are in the two largest markets in the NBA. Being the second team in LA and NYC isn't as great as being the only team in Phoenix. Why is that?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Phoenix is a rich guy mecca. Incredible fans, you have a whole history, you got Devin Booker in place. But the big thing - it's an hour from LA and it's an hour from the Bay area. You can pull in every rich guy from those two spots and they can fly in and be the owner of the team.” 

Despite the criticism the Kardashians have been getting for taking 15 min private plane rides, billionaires measure distance in those terms. Bucks owners are New York finance guys who fly to Milwaukee for home games. Steve Ballmer still lives in Seattle and flies to LA whenever he needs to. 

And on top of everything else, owning an NBA team elevates you from a billionaire to the billionaire. Owning one of the eight makes you globally recognizable. Simmons calls it an ego tax. Have you ever heard of Joe Lacob before he bought the Warriors? Exactly. 

Combine all that and you get a wild prediction. 

$5 billion

Insiders like Brian Windhorst predicted the price would be somewhere in the $2.3 to $3 billion range. Given the prices the Rockets, Nets, Jazz, and Wolves went for, it seems like a reasonable prediction. But given his "only 8 teams" theory, Simmons thinks that's way too low.

"This evaluation is going to go way higher than people think. I told you this with the Clippers eight years ago, and I'm telling you now. The Suns are going to be valued at over $4 billion. Mark my words, you can throw it in my face if I'm wrong; I'm not wrong. I think it can get close to 5 billion. I think it will be in the $4.5 to $5 billion range."

Sarver owns around a third of the Suns. He has the option to make all the other owners sell their shares as well, or he can just sell his part of the team. If the Suns were to go for $4.5 billion, that means Sarver would get around $1.5 billion for his share. 

If Sarver sells for such a high number, Simmons predicts there will be owners who'll start to wonder about selling their team as well. If you don't have a succession plan in place, and you're at the back 9 of your life, you want to sell at the peak. This might be it.

Dennis Rodman once got himself ejected from a game so he could make his dinner reservation and gamble

Dennis Rodman once got himself ejected from a game so he could make his dinner reservation and gamble: "I was able to get the hell of there and start my party night right on time."

Dennis Rodman details how he got ejected from a game against the Utah Jazz so he could make his dinner reservation and start with a wild night out in Las Vegas

Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics are in a good spot heading into the 2022-23 season

Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics are in a good spot heading into the new season - “He’s in a pretty good spot with the organization”

There were fears that Brown would begin plotting his path out of Boston after he was included in the Celtics trade offer for Kevin Durant, but Brown is in a good spot with the C's entering the season

Draymond Green discusses the most difficult part of the NBA

Draymond Green discusses the most difficult part of the NBA -“We playing against the sorry motherf*****s, I can’t play

Green says that he struggles to motivate himself to play against some of the worst teams in the NBA, singling out the Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder in the process

kobe-bryant-dunk-on-dwight-howard

“I didn’t think he was going to dunk!”-Dwight Howard recollected his ‘Welcome to the League’ moment featuring Kobe Bryant

Dwight Howard has high praise for Kobe Bryant, despite the fall-out in his first stint with the Lakers

Luka Doncic & Giannis Antetokounmpo

The 2022-23 GM SURVEY reveals who the GMs consider being the MVP and title favourites

Giannis Antetokounmpo voted best defender, international player, and player to build a franchise around

giannis-jrue-kris-richard-jefferson

Richard Jefferson thinks the Milwaukee Bucks have the best Big 3 in the NBA

The Milwaukee Bucks Big Three has championship pedigree says Richard Jefferson

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge

“Tree Bites Man” — when Danny Ainge almost lost a finger in the 1983 playoffs

The Boston Herald came up with one of the funniest headlines of all time.

Boston Celtics head coach Red Auerbach

“How many of these you consider ethical or unethical depends entirely on your organization.” — 4 moves from Red Auerbach's "57 Strategies" that players still do today

LeBron James, Chris Paul, and James Harden are just some of the greats who have picked up a thing or two from the great Red Auerbach.