INDEPENDENCE (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Cavaliers are not for sale and owner Dan Gilbert is not exploring or entertaining any thought of parting with the team a source with direct knowledge of the situation tells 92.3 The Fan.
The source said that there was “zero truth” to speculation made by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Wednesday on his television show that the reason Gilbert seeks a long-term commitment from LeBron James is so that he can sell the franchise.
Forbes Magazine currently values the Cavs at $1.2 billion and ranks the franchise the 11th most valuable in the NBA.
James currently is in the final year of his contract and he is expected to explore free agency this summer.
Since purchasing the Cavs in 2005 for an estimated $375 million, Gilbert has invested heavily in Cleveland and northeast Ohio.
In addition to owning the Cavs, Gilbert owns the Cleveland Monsters of the International Hockey League, Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Canton Charge of the NBA Developmental League.
Gilbert continues to swallow losses that have ranged between $10-50 million annually over the last 5 years due to luxury tax payments to keep the Cavs in competition for NBA championships.
Gilbert has also committed at least $70 million towards the $140 million transformation of Quicken Loans Arena, which will begin on Feb. 5 and be completed in September 2019. He will also cover any cost overruns for the project.
Aside from Gilbert’s investment in professional sports locally, his Detroit-based company, Bedrock, owns the Higbee Building, which houses the JACK Casino (owned by one of Gilbert’s family of companies – Rock Ohio Ventures), the May Company building, The Ritz Carlton Cleveland as well as Tower City. Rock Ohio Ventures also owns the JACK Thistledown Racino in Northfield.
The source added that in addition to his current holdings, Gilbert continues to explore opportunities to expand his real estate portfolio in Cleveland.