La Jolla multimillionaire Harry Cooper, the man who would build the proposed sports palace in San Diego, said Thursday there are two "buyable" franchises in the NBA at the moment. "And neither of them is the Los Angeles Clippers."
Asked to name them, Cooper said, "You know I can't do that."
Asked how much one of those teams might cost, Cooper said it would depend on the team and the particulars of the deal. But he said $60 million would not be an unreasonable ballpark figure.
The hard part, Cooper said, is that NBA rules forbid prospective franchise buyers to discuss relocation until after the purchase is made.
"Then," Cooper said, "we have to get 14 of the league's 27 owners to approve the move. What this means is we have a lot of lobbying to do with the other owners before we even think about making a purchase offer.
"At this time we have no assurance that we can buy a team."
The last purchase of an NBA team occurred on June 6, 1988, when Paul Allen bought the Portland Trail Blazers from Larry Weinberg for in excess of $70 million.
A list of the 27 NBA franchises, and how likely they are to sell to Mannie Jackson.
BOSTON--San Diego? Over Red Auerbach's dead body.
DETROIT--Their "Palace" is already in place.
NEW YORK--Madison Square Garden is an NBA institution.
MILWAUKEE--New arena, great attendance, local ownership.
LAKERS--Jack Nicholson would never go for the drive down.
PHILADELPHIA--Too much hoop tradition, too centrally located.
MIAMI--Too far to move too soon.
CHARLOTTE--Tobacco Road waited too long for this team.
MINNESOTA--Has never lost a game.
ORLANDO--Has never failed to sell out.
PHOENIX--The Suns have risen again.
ATLANTA--This growing market is too important to league.
CLEVELAND--Averaged 17,827 last season, highest in franchise history.
HOUSTON--Sold out 119 of last 120, but this team traded Moses Malone in his prime.
DALLAS--Owner Don Carter wants NFL team; if that happens, all bets are off.
INDIANAPOLIS--Stability plus Hoosier setting keeps Pacers happy in terrific sports town.
SACRAMENTO--Wayward Kings have found a home.
GOLDEN STATE--Team on the come has forced arena upgrades.
KEEP AN EYE ON
UTAH--New arena on way, but owner Larry Miller will listen to suitors.
CHICAGO--There will always be a team here. But owner Jerry Reinsdorf is inveterate deal maker.
SAN ANTONIO--Redone arena. But look out if Spurs lose three or fours years in a row.
PORTLAND--Owner Paul Allen lives in Seattle. But team sells out and out and out and . . .
WASHINGTON--Beltway location has helped, but attendance can lag.
NEW JERSEY--Only thing keeping them here, according to some, is good cable TV deal.
SEATTLE--Lease problems and stubborn owner.
DENVER--Team is Nuggets. But owner is a genuine maverick.
MAKE US AN OFFER
CLIPPERS--Donald Sterling insists he's staying in L.A. Once upon a time he insisted he was staying in S.D.