The potential future owner of the Grizzlies, possibly-maybe billionaire Robert Pera, is sending his team of advisors to Memphis to meet with Grizzlies execs and Memphis community leaders, thus bringing him closer to finalizing a deal to buy the Grizzlies.
The goal of the trip is to help Pera better understand the organization and the community, according to a source. Members of Pera's team also reached out to the Grizzlies' local limited partners. However, it is not known yet whether Pera will seek to establish a local ownership group.
There's still plenty of steps to go in order for the $350-plus million sale to go down, including the approval of 2/3rds of NBA owners needing to sign off the deal, but it looks like this thing is getting close to happening.
We've talked a bit about who Pera is and whether or not he's likely to move the team out of Memphis, and it all seems so... strange... but it does seem like he's committed, at least for now, to keeping the team in Memphis.
With that said, I'm still not sold on Pera as "the guy" here, but I think the important development is that he's getting to know the local community leaders and hopefully selling himself on what Memphis has to offer -- which is a helluva lot. We'll deal with his "efficient style of management" when he's forced to make his first big personnel decision, and we'll most likely bitch about the outcome, but as long as the team remains in Memphis, having to deal with Pera tightening his wallet would be a welcome bitch-session.
Some simple advice to Mr. Pera: If you want to win over the Memphis community, commit to keeping the team in Memphis.