Ted Leonsis finalizes deal to become new Wizards owner

Just got this from the Washington Post:

The Abe Pollin family has finalized a deal with Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis to sell him the family's share of the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center, the family announced in a statement today.    

Much more on this as it develops, but ... YAY!

UPDATE: Full statement below the jump, via the Post

UPDATE: Really good news, via Comcast SportsNet.

By closing before June 1, Leonsis can make decisions regarding the NBA draft and free agency.

UPDATE: Robert Pollin had this to say to the Washington Post.

Pollin family spokesman Robert Pollin said in an interview Tuesday that he expects the sides to officially sign a purchase agreement within a week and transfer ownership in a month to six weeks, after the financing for the deal is in place.

"When we actually sign everything, then we will have a more formal statement," said Robert Pollin, who has served as chief executive officer of his late father's holding company, Washington Sports & Entertainment, since Abe Pollin's death last November.

"What we really wanted today is to say we have basically reached an agreement with Ted," said Pollin. "I wanted to get it out to our employees. We just wanted to get it all out so we can plan for a transition that would be smooth, and for the employees to understand where we are."

As noted above, the sale needs to be completed by June 1 for Leonsis to officially make decisions on the draft and free agency. A month would do it. Six weeks wouldn't.

UPDATE: Ted himself weighs in on his blog, calling the Pollin statement "very classy."

Once the deal is official; blessed by the NBA, WNBA and NHL; and we conclude the deal we will have formal and official communications with all constituencies. For now, I am very grateful to Robert Pollin for going on record with an update regarding our deal negotiations. Thank you.    

"We are announcing today that we have reached an agreement on the major economic terms to sell our family's share of the Washington Wizards, Verizon Center and related Washington Sports businesses to Ted Leonsis and his partners at Lincoln Holdings.

First and foremost, this is a moment at which we wish to honor Abe Pollin, our late father, and all that he accomplished along with our mother Irene Pollin in the world of professional sports. Abe and Irene Pollin bought the Baltimore Bullets in 1964. They maintained ownership of the Bullets and Wizards for the next 46 years, becoming the longest-serving owners in NBA history. Over these years, Abe and Irene were responsible for creating two arenas for the Washington area, first the Capital Centre, then the Verizon Center. They also brought three professional sports franchises to Washington, the Capitals and Mystics, as well as the Wizards. Throughout all these years, they also made innumerable contributions to our community, from feeding the hungry, revitalizing entire neighborhoods, and opening the Verizon Center for the District's high school basketball championship games.

But Abe and Irene could not have accomplished all this on their own. We therefore also honor today the incredibly capable, dedicated and decent people who have worked alongside Abe and Irene over all these years. We will soon be announcing further plans to celebrate in high style the many achievements and good times we have all shared, and to bring the broader DC community into this celebration.

We join our mother Irene, the sole principal owner of the franchise today, in congratulating Ted Leonsis and his Lincoln Holdings partners on reaching this near-final step in a long negotiation. All three of us look forward to them enjoying many years of success on the court and in the community with this wonderful franchise."

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