The NBA board of governors has approved the sale of the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Mercury to billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia, the NBA announced Monday night.
The transaction is expected to close this week, according to the league.
Ishbia was approved as the Suns’ new governor by a 29-0 vote, league sources told ESPN, with the Cleveland Cavaliers abstaining from the vote.
The Cavaliers are owned by Dan Gilbert, who runs Rocket Mortgage. Ishbia owns United Wholesale Mortgage. The two companies are considered the top two largest mortgage lenders in America and have a fierce rivalry.
Ishbia’s approval comes as he is slated to be introduced by the Suns as early as Wednesday in Phoenix, sources said.
Ishbia bought a controlling stake in the team from Robert Sarver at a $4 billion valuation. Sarver sold the team and the Phoenix Mercury in the wake of a 10-month NBA investigation into his conduct as owner. That investigation came after a 2021 ESPN report that centered on Sarver’s conduct during his tenure as majority owner, which began in 2004.
Ishbia ascends to his post as Thursday’s NBA trade deadline nears, with the Suns expected to be aggressive in helping upgrade a roster that reached the NBA Finals in 2021 and posted the NBA’s best regular-season record in 2021-22 before falling in the second round to the Dallas Mavericks.