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Report: Donald Sterling Will Allow Wife To Sell Clippers

According to reports from TMZ and ESPN.com, commissioner Adam Silver may have convinced Donald Sterling to allow his wife Shelly to assume control of the Clippers in order to negotiate a voluntary sale.

It appears the league may have talked the Sterlings into the path of least resistance, instead of the one that would have seen them battle in court over the rights to the Clippers franchise, which would have been an ugly and drawn-out process, costing Sterling a lot of money in a potential sale.

TMZ first reported the move to have Donald’s wife, Shelly Sterling, take over the sale. ESPN’s Ramon Shelburne follows up:

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So, while this has not been finalized, it is encouraging to hear the Sterlings are at least open to considering a different path to resolve ownership. Of course, there’s also a huge financial windfall waiting for them, as the Clippers are estimated to be worth well over $1 billion — though Forbes ranked them at $550 million in their most recent report. For perspective, Sterling bought the team in 1981 for $12.5 million.

It seems the commissioner’s office has been leaning on Sterling to go this route because it would be the most lucrative, appealing to his business sense, rather than any moral one he may or may not possess.

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It is also worth thinking about whether Magic Johnson has any continued interest in owning the team after his front-and-center role in the Sterling scandal. He was reported to be interested, then not, as celebrities and athletes lined up to start a bidding war. But would Magic even be considered as a potential buyer in a scenario where Shelly is handling the sale?

Nevertheless, this is a very surprising development, and would be the most amicable parting between the Sterlings and the NBA. It would also provide reassurance to the Clippers players so they can start next season without a massive distraction still hanging over them.

What do you think?

Follow steven lebron on Twitter at @steven_lebron.

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