Sterlings set 5 p.m. ET deadline for Clippers bids

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Sterlings have set an end-of-the-day deadline to accept bids for the sale of the Clippers, according to reports. They are rushing to get a deal done before a June 3 meeting of NBA owners that could give control of the franchise to the league.

Prospective bidders for the Los Angeles Clippers will have until 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday to submit their bids to purchase the NBA franchise. Scott Cacciola of the New York Times and Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg both reportedly spoke to sources directly involved with the team's sale, and suggested that the expedited deadline was set by Shelly and Donald Sterling and/or their legal representation.

The Sterlings are trying to sell the team quickly, before a June 3 meeting of NBA owners that will likely decide to give control of the franchise to the NBA. The league would then force a sale.

Long-time Clippers owner Donald Sterling gave control of the franchise to co-owner and wife, Shelly, after being banned from the NBA. Shelly Sterling has said that she wants at least $1 billion from the sale of the Clippers. Donald Sterling has said that he has received offers in excess of $2.5 billion.

Bloomberg lists several potential suitors for the Clippers, including a group that counts David Geffen and Oprah Winfrey as members. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is also reportedly interested, as well as group that includes Grant Hill.

A rushed sale by the Sterlings would allow them to escape the league on their own terms, after Donald Sterling pushed back against what he called "draconian" punishment in the wake of the release of a taped conversation during which he revealed bigoted views.

It should be noted that the NBA still has to approve any sale of the franchise, however. The Wednesday deadline to accept bids is somewhat arbitrary, because the league may still be able to deny a deal from being made prior to the June 3 meeting.

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