Michael Heisley, the reluctant owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal on Saturday that he has had talks with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison about a purchase of the team. Heisley insisted that the talks were in the early stages however, and expressed a real lack of hope about a deal getting done.
Ellison famously tried to buy the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Hornets within the past two years. He was narrowly outbid by Joe Lacob in the Warriors sale, and was rejected in his Hornets bid by the NBA because he had little reported interest in keeping the team in New Orleans long-term. It's believed that Ellison would like to move a team to San Jose or Anaheim.
Heisley has put a price tag of $350 million on the franchise, but a new owner who wants to pry the team from Memphis would be on the hook for up to another $100 million in relocation penalties because of the team's FedEx Forum lease. Heisley told the Commercial-Appeal that he has had trouble finding a legit local buyer.
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