It's no secret that Charlotte Bobcats owner Robert Johnson has been trying to sell his franchise, and multiple league sources have told ESPN.com that he should get his wish by March.
Former Houston Rockets president/CEO George Postolos -- whose first attempt to purchase the team, according to the Charlotte Observer, fell apart last summer -- has made a new offer that Bobcats president Michael Jordan has until the end of February to match, according to sources.
League officials in New York, when asked about the state of the Bobcats' sale, declined comment.
Jordan negotiated a right of first refusal after Johnson made it clear he intended to sell the team, according to a team source. But it was not immediately known whether the group of investors Jordan has assembled has the wherewithal or inclination to match Postolos' offer.
One source close to the situation told ESPN.com that Postolos does not plan to retain Jordan or his staff if he is successful with his bid.
The newly inducted Basketball Hall of Famer has served as a part-owner and head of basketball operations with the Bobcats since June 15, 2006. And despite receiving regular criticism for his low public profile in Charlotte and around the team, Jordan is enjoying his best period as an NBA executive after a slow start with the Bobcats and an earlier disappointing stint with the Washington Wizards.
Jordan's hiring of Larry Brown as coach before last season and the November gamble to trade for the enigmatic Stephen Jackson have sparked Charlotte to a 24-23 record through Tuesday's games. That's good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, putting the Bobcats on course to reach the playoffs for the first time in the club's six-season existence.
The Bobcats and the NFL's Houston Texans are the only two franchises in North America's four major team sports that have yet to reach the playoffs in their respective sports.
Ric Bucher covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.