Mark Cuban may be grooming Sheldon Adelson’s adopted 20-something son to run Mavericks: sources

Mark Cuban may be grooming Sheldon Adelson’s adopted 20-something son to run Mavericks: sources

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban may be grooming Sheldon Adelson’s adopted 20-something son to run the NBA team after the shock sale to the late casino magnate’s family, The Post has learned.

Cuban, who sources say considered Adelson a mentor, is expected to maintain operational control of the franchise despite agreeing to sell his majority stake in a deal that values the Mavs at around $3.5 billion.

Sources told The Post that Cuban’s understudy will be Matan Adelson, a Stanford graduate who once worked as an intern for the club and recently joined the ranks of basketball team owners with the purchase of a club in Israel.

“I figure within five to seven years, Matan will be running the team,” a source close to the Adelsons said. “For sure, by the time he is 30.”

Cuban will keep a roughly 20% stake in the Mavs, sources said, but the surprising sale raised speculation the entrepreneur and reality TV star was facing a liquidity crunch.

Matan Adelson is being groomed to own and run the Dallas Mavericks, sources believe. Matan Adelson / Linkedin

He was in talks to sell a minority stake in the Mavericks in recent weeks until he paused them to pursue the larger deal with the Adelsons, a source close to the sale process said.

Cuban, 65, and Matan Adelson did not return calls for comment.

Matan is one of two boys adopted by Adelson and his second wife Miriam, the source said. She and the family have a net worth estimated at more than $32 billion following the 2021 death of her husband, who before passing at age 87 owned the famed Venetian hotel in Las Vegas and controlled gambling giant Las Vegas Sands Corp.

In March, the Adelsons reportedly paid $20 million for the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team and put Matan in charge.

The late Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam have long wanted a basketball team for their adopted son Matan, sources said. AP

“I’ve been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant in particular since I was young,” Matan said in a press release after the sale. “For me, Kobe embodied grit, an unmatched work ethic, and incredible determination. Growing up, I took a lot of inspiration from him, watching him strive to be the best version of himself, and through my leadership, I hope to manifest this mentality in this club for now and for years to come.” 

Aside from working as an intern in the Mavericks corporate sponsorship department in 2016, Matan was an investment banking summer analyst for Goldman Sachs before graduating from Stanford in 2021, according to his LinkedIn page.

“Matan is a very polite kid,” the source said.

Mark Cuban could be in a financial bind after losing on multiple crypto investments, sources said. Paola Morrongiello

For example, Matan had a party with his Stanford friends at the Venetian and everyone was surprisingly respectful and nice, the source close to the Adelsons said.

The Adelsons had a family suite at Staples Center in Los Angeles while Matan was growing up which they used frequently to watch Lakers games, the source said.

They also have long been close to Cuban, the source added.

During the NBA’s Summer League held in Vegas, the Mavericks would stay at Adelson’s hotels, the first source close to Adelsons said, fueling Matan’s interest in hoops.

Cuban will likely get to run the Mavs for several years until he grooms Matan to the point he is ready to assume control. Getty Images

“Sheldon had a relationship with Cuban for 15 to 20 years,” the source close to the Adelsons said. “I believe Mark viewed Sheldon as a mentor to him.”

When Cuban’s show “Shark Tank” needed a location to film during COVID after their Culver City, Calif., studio was shut down, the producers went to Adelson’s Venetian to make the shows.

Cuban, who raised eyebrows last week when he announced he was leaving the show,  has invested heavily in crypto over the years – further fueling questions about his finances after the collapse of exchanges like FTX and Binance.

Mark Cuban was a big promoter of Voyager Digital which is now bankrupt. Voyager

He had investments in Ethereum-token ApeCoin, cross-chain wallet service Blockto, crypto Injective Protocol, NFT metaverse developer Althea Artificial Liquid Intelligence Token and blockchain ecosystem Ocean Protocol, according to a December 2022 article in CoinGape.

He also owned a stake and heavily promoted now bankrupt Voyager Digital.

“He’s failed in a lot of these crypto endeavors,” a source close to Cuban said.

The arrangement that will allow Cuban to run the Mavericks is unusual but not unprecedented. 

Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky took control of the New York Islanders in 2016 and while Malkin owned more than 50% of the team, Ledecky is seen as the one who runs the hockey club.

The discounted price the Adelson’s paid for the team may stem from the fact that Cuban does not own the American Airlines Center, where the Mavs and their star Luca Doncic play. The lease expires in 2031.

The Phoenix Suns sold for $4 billion last year, while the small-market Milwaukee Bucks recently fetched $3.5 billion.

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