Portland Trail Blazers fans are getting some huge offseason news early, although it may not be the type they wanted or expected. There’s been talk that the franchise might be getting a new owner soon.
Recently, John Canzano of The Bald Face Truth reported,
“A source who works for the Vulcan, Inc. mothership tells me that the NBA franchise will be prepared for an auction in the next six to 18 months. The whisper is that Vice Chairman Bert Kolde will lead the effort on behalf of the Paul G. Allen Trust. The franchise brain trust is carefully tracking what happens with the sale of the Denver Broncos, too.”
Portland Trail Blazers could potentially have new owner soon
If Jody Allen, the chair of the Portland Trail Blazers and sister of Paul Allen, whose trust currently owns the team, does put them up for sale on the market, who could be the next owner of the Blazers?
If you remember many years ago, back in 2006 to be precise, former Blazer Terry Porter along with a group of investors had attempted to buy the franchise, as Allen had put the team up for sale but eventually took it off the market. Porter since went on to coach at the University of Portland in 2016 but was let go in 2021. Perhaps he has interest along with his investors in attempting to purchase again.
Last year, Forbes magazine listed Portland as the NBA’s 13th most valuable franchise at $1.9 billion. In a search of billionaires in Oregon, KOIN TV listed three billionaires who could certainly afford to buy the Blazers. The list includes Columbia Sportswear’s Timothy Boyle, Travis Boersma — who made his fortune through coffee and is the co-founder and executive chairman of Dutch Bros — and finally, Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
If someone in Oregon, or the Northwest in general (keep in mind, Allen was from and lived in Seattle) isn’t interested in being an owner, who else could be? The answer is anyone’s guess.
At one point, Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle Corporation, was interested in owning a team, having attempted to acquire three teams in the past on separate occasions. The fourth could be the charm for him. Kevin Garnett was reportedly interested in buying the Minnesota Timberwolves and once said via Tim Reynolds and the Associated Press,
“If I have a dream, I would say that I would love to be able to go and buy the Seattle Supersonics and reactivate the Pacific Northwest.”
Could his dream be to also just purchase a team in general? We know of a certain team on I-5 a little bit south of Seattle that could be available.
LeBron James wants to play in the NBA with his son Bronny, who isn’t eligible to be drafted until 2024. Portland could draft Bronny, sign or trade for his dad, and have them star in a season together before LeBron ultimately retires and invests in the Blazers. What a perfect ending for a player like James. James has said his goal is to own a franchise, and it just so happens Nike is in Beaverton and has a billion-dollar, lifetime investment in James.
We don’t know at this moment who will be the third owner in team history, or if they are for sale. But we can all but guarantee that the Blazers will remain in Portland, as the team and city are negotiating their lease agreement which expires in 3025. And as Canzano also reported,
“I’m told there is no plan for the franchise to be relocated.”