Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is working on a deal to sell a majority stake in the NBA franchise to the family that runs the Las Vegas Sands casino company, a person with knowledge of the talks said Tuesday night.
The agreement would be in the valuation range of $3.5 billion and take weeks for the league to process, according to the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details weren’t being made public.
Cuban would retain control of basketball operations in the deal. NBA reporter Marc Stein was the first to report the potential sale.
The company controlled by Miriam Adelson, widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, announced earlier Tuesday it was selling $2 billion of her shares to buy an unspecified professional sports team.
Cuban said he was interested in partnering with the Sands almost a year ago. He has been a proponent of legalizing gambling in Texas, an issue that didn’t make it out of the state Legislature in a biennial session that ended earlier this year.
The 65-year-old Cuban, who announced he was leaving the popular business TV program “Shark Tank” after a 16th season next year, rose to fame quickly after buying the Mavericks in 2000.
Dallas was one of the worst franchises in pro sports in the 1990s but turned into one of the best under Cuban, with a lot of help from star forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Miriam Adelson is the controlling shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., a publicly traded Las Vegas company that built the Venetian and Palazzo resorts but now only has casino operations in Macau and Singapore.
The company revealed the sale of $2 billion in stock in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing identified Adelson and the Miriam Adelson Trust as sellers but didn’t specify a team, league, or location.
If the entirety of the $2 billion goes toward the purchase, it would mean Adelson could be acquiring at least 57% of the NBA team – based on the $3.5 billion valuation.
Adelson, 78, is a medical doctor and widow of Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire founder and owner of Las Vegas Sands, who died in 2021 at 87. The filing says she will retain 51.3% of company shares following the sale. The family also owns Nevada’s largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“We have been advised by the selling stockholders that they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise … subject to customary league approvals,” the company said in the SEC filing.
The vetting process for new owners in the NBA typically takes at least several weeks, and then approval must be granted by the league’s Board of Governors.
Cuban also said late last year he wanted to build a new arena in downtown Dallas that would also be a casino resort.
The legalization of gambling faces steep odds in Texas, where Republicans have been in power for three decades. Supporters were hoping to get a vote on a constitutional amendment in the last legislative session, but the measure didn’t get out of committee.