SBD/Issue 240/Franchises

Cavaliers' Deal For Chinese Investors Has Been Dead For Months

The Cavaliers and the NBA revealed that the pending deal to sell a minority stake in the franchise to a Chinese investment group "has been dead for months," according to Bill Lubinger of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. The agreement with a group led by QSL Chair Kenny Huang was "expected to be completed late last year, pending NBA approval." But Cavaliers President Len Komoroski said, "It never materialized, as far as completing the application process with the league." Lubinger noted any transfer of team ownership greater than 5% must be approved by the NBA's BOG, a process that is "based on a rigorous personal, business and financial background check." But the NBA confirmed that the "process never got that far." The deal was billed as a "timely entree into the massive and growing Chinese sports audience, and a valuable cash infusion for the Cavs -- both positive developments in the bid to keep free agent LeBron James." A source claimed that the investors "weren't just biding their time to see whether James would stay in Cleveland." The source said, "It had absolutely nothing to do with LeBron" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/26).

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