Not only did star big man Marc Gasol have tension with former head coach Dave Fizdale but the owners are reportedly in a dispute as well.
In fact, their issues have become so serious that majority owner Robert Pera may have to step down as the man in charge (via The Athletic):
“A buy-sell provision in the ownership agreement between Pera and minority owners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus was exercised last week, sources told The Athletic. Both minority owners had the right to invoke the clause starting in late October, which allows one or both of them to set a new valuation for the franchise that sold for $377 million in 2012.”
Kaplan has had tension with Pera, according to the report. He tried to become a minority owner for the Timberwolves after “behind-the-scenes trouble that took months to resolve” in May 2016.
He also attempted purchasing the Hawks in 2015, though he was eventually outbid.
Now, it seems he will try to become the majority owner in Memphis. It’s a bit complicated but based on a contractual provision, though there is a simple explanation (via ESPN):
“The unusual provision gives Kaplan and Straus each the right to name a price for the team. Pera would have to either buy one or both of his partners’ shares — depending on who bids — or sell his own shares to them at that valuation during a subsequent 60-day window.”
According to the aforementioned report, it could take months for this to resolve. It won’t be easy to come up with an appropriate agreement, but the team is valued by Forbes at $790 million.
Pera, who is also the CEO of Ubiquiti Networks, is now forced to decide whether or not he would like to “keep control of the team” or sell his shares to Kaplan and Straus.