The city of Houston is recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, but a huge business transaction that may have a positive impact on the city may be finalizing.
Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander made his intention of selling the franchise he bought for $85 million back in 1993, with Rockets team president Tad Brown making the announcement that Alexander was looking for a buyer this past July.
Fast forward a few months later, and Alexander has found the other half of what's going to be a huge business transaction. With Chris Paul, James Harden and a string of success behind the franchise, the Rockets are reportedly set to be sold at a record-breaking price.
Alexander has reportedly agreed to sell the Rockets to Tilman Fertitta for an astonishing $2.2 billion, according to multiple reports around the league. Forbes previously valuated the Rockets at $1.6 billion.
This move might be worth cheering at for Rockets fans. Fertitta is a Houston native, which should stave off any fears of a new owner looking to move the franchise. Fertitta is best-known for being the star investor of his own reality television show Billion Dollar Buyer, which airs on CNBC. He's also known for his public service work, helping several local Houston charities for years.
The NBA has not commented on the move yet, but Fertitta posted a message on his Twitter account stating that it's an "honor" to join the NBA:
The Houston-native was also an initial investor in the formation of the Houston Texans, has purchased the naming rights to a section of seats at the Houston Astros' ballpark and even served as Rockets director during the back-to-back title years for the franchise.
All signs point to this being a good opportunity for the Rockets franchise to fall into hands that will care about it, which along with proper business savvy, is all fans can ask for from an owner. The Rockets are getting an owner that shouldn't look to shake up the fabric of the franchise.
Houston's price point would make it the most expensive franchise transaction in league history, topping the $2 billion Steve Ballmer paid to take control of the L.A. Clippers. The Rockets don't have the Los Angeles market to rely on, but have become a Western Conference power in the years since acquiring James Harden.
The NBA has been growing in popularity and profitability over recent years, and a notable investor deciding to get in on the action while it's still on the rise is a positive sign for both the league as a whole and the Rockets.
$2.2 billion is a steep price to pay, but when you're a "Billion Dollar Buyer," that's the kind of business decision that gets the juices flowing.