Celtics’ Majority Owners Looking to Sell After Winning NBA Title

  • Boston Basketball Partners LLC, who own majority control of the Celtics, are looking to sell their shares in the team.
  • They would like to have this deal done later this year or in 2025, but Wyc Grousbeck stay on as the team governor until 2028.
  • Steve Pagliuca and Larry Ellison are favored to buy the shares, while Jeff Bezos, Tom Brady, Dave Portnoy, David Ortiz and Bill Simmons are on the board at online sportsbooks.

The Boston Celtics are flying high. They finished 64-18 in the regular season, and then went 16-3 in the playoffs, defeating the Dallas Mavericks in five games to win the franchise’s 18th title. That broke their tie with their bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, for the most titles in NBA history.

It was a surprise when it was reported on Monday, July 1, by The Athletic (and various other outlets) that the majority-owner group, Boston Basketball Partners LLC, was looking to sell their shares.

Reputable online betting site BetOnline has odds on who will be the next majority owner. It includes one current minority owner in Steve Pagliuca, and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison at the top of the list. You’ll also find famous names associated with Boston sports, such as Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, Dave Portnoy, and Bill Simmons.  

Why is This Group Selling Their Majority Shares?

The theory is that Boston Basketball Partners are looking to sell their majority shares for a couple of reasons. For starters, the team is worth a ton of money after just winning the NBA title. The Athletic article states that the team was valued between $4.7 billion and $5.2 billion. That was before the season started. It stands to guess that it’s worth more than that with an 18th banner hanging in the rafters at TD Garden.

But another reason they could be looking to sell, is that the Celtics as a team are going to get costly, and very soon. Spotrac displays their contract situation, which started to get pricey last year when Boston signed Jaylen Brown to a five-year deal worth up to $304 million in July 2023. This was the biggest contract in NBA history, until the Celtics surpassed it this offseason.

Jayson Tatum signed a five-year extension worth $314 million on July 1. On the same day, the Celtics locked up Derrick White for four more years, at a cost of $125.9 million.

This will surely put the Celtics in the second apron, which they’ll have to pay a massive luxury tax. That tax increases as they will be repeat offenders. While it’s great to have the title, it’s expensive to keep championship teams together. This is why the BBP LLC group wants to sell the team.

Who is in the Mix to Buy the Celtics?

BetOnline has Steve Paglicua as a -150 favorite to be the next majority owner. Paglicua has been a minority owner of the Celtics since 2020, and has been in the public eye with the team. He also owns (with other investors) a majority share of Atalanta, an Italian soccer team in Serie A.

Next is Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle, at +300. He has nothing to do with the Celtics currently, but Ellison is worth over $150 billion and could easily afford the team. Abigail Johnson, a Boston native and CEO of Investment firm Fidelity, is next at +800. She is alongside Jeremy Jacobs, who owns the Boston Bruins. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is also in the +800 group.

Then, you get into names like Tom Brady (+2500), Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (+2500), Dana White, Robert Kraft (+2500). Barstool founder Dave Portnoy (+5000) and The Ringer founder Bill Simmons (+7500) are also on the board.

LeBron James (+10000) is a longshot, but he is an investor in Fenway Sports Group (+900), which owns the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Liverpool FC. It would be ironic if one of the Celtics’ biggest rivals owned the team.

However, Paglicua and Ellison are favored for a reason, and the BBP LLC would like to get this deal done by the end of 2024, or early 2025. It’s a story worth keeping an eye on.

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About the Author
Finn Archer profile picture
Finn Archer
Finn is an experienced writer (having published articles under the name Phil Bowman) and longtime sports enthusiast based in Europe. His particular passion lies in soccer, as both a die-hard fan and seasoned bettor. That said, he’ll dabble in anything involving a ball, bat, or boxing gloves! He’s learned from his share of bad bets over the years and is keen to impart his wisdom so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since joining TSG, Finn has also gained valuable knowledge in the world of online casinos.

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