Tilt your heads in celebration on this fine Thursday evening because, according to Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press, Tom Gores has reached a deal to buy the Detroit Pistons:
The agreement, valued at $420 million, was reached this evening, after several days of intense bargaining over details.
Details on the base selling price, the implications of a looming labor dispute in the NBA, and to what extent current ownership may stay involved with the team were said to be key points of debate. It was not immediately clear how the deal would be structured.
The deal still needs to be approved by the NBA before it's official, but it could be announced as early as tomorrow, according to Walsh.
Gores was in a suite the other night while the Pistons were taking on the Spurs, possibly sippin' on that purple in celebration. I think it's clear now that (what I believe was) his first appearance at The Palace during a game was no coincidence.
Tom Gores will be the Pistons' new owner. Bess, the keys to Mr. Dumars' handcuffs, please!?
UPDATE: What would Pistons' ownership news be without conflicting reports?
Here's what I wrote in an update over at SB Nation Detroit:
Contrary to what the Detroit Free Press's sources are telling them, The Detroit News is reporting that Tom Gores has not purchased the team, yet:
The Pistons are about to extend exclusive negotiations with the California financier Tom Gores for two weeks. The move comes after negotiations gathered steam this week.
Gores has remained in town for several days to participate in them directly. But sources close to the process told The Detroit News on Thursday there is no agreement in place to sell the team and the two sides continue to bargain on a price.
Corroborating the News, shortly after tweeting that they received word on a tentative deal being reached, Channel 4's Devin Scillian said that Karen Davidson herself told their Bernie Smilovitz that, at the moment, no deal between Tom Gores and the Pistons was in place.
Is Karen Davidson trying to control the announcement here? Is The Free Press throwing it against the wall and hoping it sticks? The Free Press is certainly exuding confidence -- in addition to the breaking news item, they've published three. separate. Tom Gores related stories in the three hours since their initial report.
LATEST UPDATE (2/11/11 4 p.m. EST): Via a statement by Marx Layne & Co., sent to the Pistons, which was then forwarded to Chris Iott of MLIVE:
"The parties are continuing to work in a cooperative manner and have agreed to a new 14-day exclusivity period."