clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Did the NBA just make it easier for LeBron James to own a team in Las Vegas with the new CBA?

LeBron James has been very open that he wants to own an NBA team, and the NBA’s new CBA may have just made that easier for him to do.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Throughout the latter stages of his career, LeBron James has made it quite clear that he wants to own an NBA team in his post-playing days. Considering how much he has accomplished throughout his career, it’s hard to doubt that he will one day accomplish that.

However, it was always a path that felt like it would be complicated. Particularly, as LeBron made it clear that he wanted to own the NBA team in Las Vegas and that being the next logical destination for an expansion team, the timing could have become an issue.

That makes one of the newest developments with the CBA, which the league and player’s association agreed to early Saturday morning, of particular note for LeBron. For the first time not just in NBA history but in any professional league, players will be able to “invest in the teams via an NBPA-selected private equity firm,” as reported by Shams Charania and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

The potential financial gain for players is immense. Valuations for teams have skyrocketed over the last decade. The Suns just went for $4 billion. The Bucks had a $3.5 billion valuation last month. The league keeps looking for new ways to keep those numbers climbing, allowing private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds, among others, to invest in minority stakes. That’s huge money that the players could gain potential access to.

No other league currently allows players to invest in teams. So the NBA and NBPA would again be ahead of the pack. The downstream effects of this will of course be interesting. That will all depend on the structure of this aspect of the CBA but it is certainly eye-popping.

To be clear, right now, it’s unclear how much this may directly impact LeBron personally and his quest to own an NBA team. It certainly helps in some capacity, but with details of all of this still murky as the league works on finalizing the CBA, specifics are coming out in bits and pieces over the last 24 hours.

But this does feel, at least in some capacity, a response to LeBron wanting to own a team. It’s not something entirely created because of him and it will benefit the whole league, but LeBron is among them.

The question, though, is how the mechanics of investing in the league works. If it’s just a general fund, then perhaps this doesn’t really help LeBron own a team in Las Vegas all that much. But if it operates as a sort of pay advance that players can use after retiring to own a team, then this very much helps LeBron.

Regardless of the LeBron-specific implications, it’s a great development for the league and the players. It will put more money that the players are generating back into their pockets, which is where it should be going.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Silver Screen & Roll Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Los Angeles Lakers news from Silver Screen & Roll