May 1, 2014 12:00 pm

If Sterling sells, who will buy the Los Angeles Clippers?

WATCH ABOVE: Lots of familiar names are being touted as potential buyers for the LA Clippers

For 33 years the Los Angeles Clippers have been owned by Donald Sterling, but that might change now that the NBA is spearheading efforts to force Sterling to sell.

But the NBA alone cannot force a sale of the team. Three-quarters of the board of governors must be in favour for it to happen.

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But that doesn’t seem to worry NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference.

The team was worth $12.5 million when purchased by Sterling in 1981, but how much money are potential buyers looking to shell out for the purchase?

Forbes ranks the Clippers as the league’s 13th most valuable franchise, at around $575 million.

If Sterling does sell, whoever inks a new deal for the team will need to have deep pockets.

Here are some contenders:

Magic Johnson

Johnson has not made any public statements about buying the team.  But at Tuesday’s press conference, Silver stated, “Magic Johnson knows he’s always welcome as an owner in this league. He’s been a part owner in the past of the Los Angeles Lakers and is always welcome and a close friend of the NBA family.”

The former basketball once owned about 4.5 per cent of the Lakers, which he sold back in 2010, and currently owns a percentage of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Johnson was one of the first to speak out against Sterling’s comments on Sunday during an ABC pre-game show. “He [Sterling] shouldn’t own a team anymore,” said Johnson.

This April 11, 2012 file photo shows Magic Johnson, right, his wife Cookie and son E.J. arriving for the opening night performance of the Broadway play \”Magic/Bird\” in New York.

AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File

David Geffen & Oprah Winfrey

If these two billionaires decide to pool their resources and bid for ownership they could be unstoppable.

Oprah commented on the Sterling controversy in an interview Tuesday on CBS’ This Morning.

“It feels like a plantation mentality in the 21st century, in 2014, it just doesn’t fit,” she said.

Winfrey, best known as a television personality and network exec, seems to be ready to try her hand at sports ownership.

Nicole Nichols, a spokesperson for Winfrey, confirmed in an email, “Oprah Winfrey is in discussions with David Geffen and Larry Ellison to make a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers should the team become available.”

A representative from mogul Geffen’s office confirmed “if the Clippers become available, he would be interested in buying the franchise.”

Geffen has estimated net worth of $6.2 billion and after his unsuccessful bid to purchase the Clippers for $700 million in 2010, it would be no surprise to see Geffen throw his hat into the ring.

Is Oprah throwing her hat into the ring of potential buyers of the L.A. Clippers?

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Oscar De La Hoya & Floyd Mayweather

Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya has publicly confirmed he’d like to own the Clippers one day—or at least be a part owner. DeLa Hoya announced that he wants to “be a part of positive change for the league.” He has even hinted at forming a partnership with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“When it comes to business, what better than two minorities? The commissioner wanted to see more minority ownership in the NBA,” the boxer told USA Today.

“If he wants more minorities involved in the NBA, what better than me and Floyd to be part of a potential ownership group?”

Mayweather, who is currently prepping for an upcoming fight did make time to mention that he is “very, very interested in buying the Clippers.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws a punch against Canelo Alvarez during a 152-pound title fight, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Las Vegas.

AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Although he’s best known for his rap skills, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has his hands in many pots including a record label, clothing line, and more recently a cable TV Station.  So it was no surprise yesterday when he tweeted:


And with a reported net worth of $550 million he may actually have the resources to do it.

Rounding out the list of potential buyers is actor Frankie Muniz, who is also a Clippers super fan. He made it clear on Twitter that he too wants a piece of the action:


Muniz, who is best known for his starring role in Malcolm in the Middle, is currently worth a reported $40 million dollars.  Not a figure to laugh at by any means, but in comparison to the bank accounts listed above, he may fall a bit short.

WATCH: Bob Reid from Veritas Communications says he believes the NBA had no choice but to hand down the maximum punishment possible to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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