Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Wyc Grousbeck to reportedly put Celtics up for sale

The Celtics, who just won their 18th NBA championship, are reportedly going to be put up for sale -- according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The C's current majority ownership group, led by Wyc Grousbeck, is looking to sell the team after buying the franchise back in 2002 for $360 million.

Following the breaking news on Monday afternoon, the Celtics released a statement via social media to confirm the reports of a potential sale.
"Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C., the ownership group of the Boston Celtics, announced today its intention to sell all the shares of the team," the statement read. "The controlling family of the ownership group, after considerable thought and internal discussion, has decided to sell the team for estate and family planning considerations."
Grousbeck is "expected" to stay on as the current team Governor, while any pending sale is made official until 2028.
"The managing board of the ownership group expects to sell a majority interest in 2024 or early 2025, with the balance closing in 2028, and expects Wyc Grousbeck to remain as the Governor of the team until the second closing in 2028."
While Wojnarowski was the first to break the news, it was Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that reported that Grousbeck could sell his personal stake, as that the "potential sale is not expected to include the entire investment group that purchased the team in 2002."

The Celtics are currently valued at roughly $4.7 billion -- per the most recent valuation by Forbes from back in October of 2023.

Jayson Tatum, who is expected to sign the richest contract in NBA history -- a reported five-year, $315 million super-max extension, was "shocked" to learn of Grousbeck's plans to sell his stake in the Celtics.

Speaking with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated during his JT Elite basketball camp in Las Vegas, Tatum noted that he hopes the foundation already built doesn't change when the new ownership group takes over the helm.
"What we built -- what we have, it's a great thing" Tatum said via Mannix. "I don't want things to change."
Under Grousbeck, the Celtics have won two championships in two-plus decades, with the first coming in 2008, followed by the most recent one just last month. In the summer of 2023 he wanted president of basketball operations Brad Stevens to shake things up after a disappointing loss in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat, where they lost a Game 7 in blowout fashion at home -- despite coming back from a 0-3 series hole.

Stevens pulled off two major trades for Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday respectively, who both were instrumental in the Celtics winning an NBA title this past season and made sure to sign them to long-term extensions.

With Tatum and NBA Finals MVP Jaylen Brown ($305 million) on the books with two of the highest paid contracts in league history, along with Derrick White also reported to sign a four-year, $125.9 million extension, the Celtics will pay premium luxury tax penalties for the next few seasons just to keep their championship lineup intact.

Still, it remains unknown with the sale of the Celtics if the rest of the current ownership could end up have different roles, as co-owner Steve Pagliuca said he intends to be a "proud participant in the bidding process," in a statement via social media.
"I am grateful and thankful for the 21-year partnership I have enjoyed with Wyc and Irv Grousbeck, the Epstein family, and all the incredible Celtics investment partners. It has been remarkable run that resulted in two NBA championships for the best and most passionate fans in professional basketball, capped off with an amazing duck boat parade last week in Boston.
Along with the championships, we are most proud of the growth of our community impact efforts and the dedication of the investor group, coaches, players and staff to helping community members who are in need. 
Being a co-investor and manager partner of the Celtics has been a great honor and a labor of love. I hope to be part of the Celtics moving forward and will be a proud participant in the bidding process that has been announced today."

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press

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