Shelly Sterling reviewing Clips bids

"I would suggest he take her to dinner and see what happens," he said. "If I were to judge by his attitude in our three conversations today, I'd say no. But you don't know what a woman can do.

"I don't think that money is the issue to him. It may be for her. He's worried they've ruined his image for 35 years and he's not going to sit still for it."

Shelly Sterling has retained Bank of America to handle the sale. Initial bids were due Wednesday. However, a source told ESPN that several groups were given an extension until Thursday. While there was initially a sense that there would be several rounds of bidding, it now appears the strongest bidders will simply negotiate directly with Shelly Sterling and her advisers over the next few days.

"There's no time for multiple rounds," a source connected with one of the groups told ESPN on the condition of anonymity.

One group involved is led by music mogul David Geffen and includes Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Oprah Winfrey. This group has added Guggenheim executives Todd Boehly and Mark Walter, Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Jobs, Steve Wynn's ex-wife Elaine Wynn, and Beats by Dre co-founder Jimmy Iovine, ESPN has learned.

Sources with knowledge of the process told ESPN's Marc Stein that a group led by former NBA All-Star Grant Hill and billionaire investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh also formally submitted a bid.

Sources close to the process believe that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's group currently has the leading bid, however the situation remains fluid as negotiations continue with the two other strong groups and Shelly Sterling works to persuade her husband of 58 years to agree to sell the team.

On Wednesday, Seattle Seahawks (and former USC Trojans) coach Pete Carroll took to Twitter to back Ballmer.

Ballmer told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month that, should he obtain the Clippers, he would not attempt to move the franchise from Los Angeles, saying that would be "value destructive."

The NBA released a statement saying its advisory and finance committee met via conference call Wednesday, plans to review all documents and still intends to vote Tuesday on the matter.

Sources told ESPN that bidders have been encouraged to finance as little of the deal as possible. Because of the well-heeled nature of the bidders, it's believed the winning bid could be paid for with at least 80 percent cash and less than 20 percent financed. This would make bids easier to evaluate more quickly.

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