Despite the team not being for sale just yet, former NBA All-Stars Grant Hill and Yao Ming have separately expressed interest in buying the Los Angeles Clippers, according to sources close to the situation. Hill and Ming are among a group of many parties assembling to bid for the franchise once it if officially on the market.
Sources told ESPN.com on May 23 the two are working on getting together investors to lodge bids for the Clippers if and when the team is made vailable for purchase.
Sources also informed ESPN the same day that Donald Sterling will allow for his wife, Shelley Sterling, to negotiate a sale of the team.
Hill, who just completed his first year of retirement, has ties to the team after finishing his 19-season career in L.A. He has told sources within the league he is in the process of getting a team together to bid for the Clippers.
Yao, who was also part of the discussion of the Milwaukee Bucks sale, is working with a group of Chinese investors to purchase the team. He currently owns the Shanghai Sharks in China and has been heavily involved in the NBA’s effort to build a global brand.
Of course, all this news is assuming the league can force a sale of the team. Currently all signs point to that happening. Expect the number of parties interested in the team to reach double digits as estimates for the franchise are now ranging from $900 million upwards to close to $2 billion.