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Tom Gores Reportedly 'Assessing' Pistons Deal; Eric Lefkofsky Not Interested?

Businessman Tom Gores emerged as the favorite to buy the Detroit Pistons when negotiations with Mike Ilitch fell apart last November. All signs pointed to Ilitch buying the team, but that never happened and Gores has been in the driver's seat for a deal ever since.

Earlier this month, Gores received a 30-day exclusive negotiating period to purchase the team. The end of the 30 days is nearing, and Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press reports that Gores is "still actively assessing the potential purchase," which would include the Pistons, Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre.

According to Walsh, representatives of Gores have been in the area in recent weeks to crunch numbers, study the Pistons' operations and meet with Karen Davidson's advisers. He also reports that Gores was in New York City this week to meet with officials from the NBA, making it seem as though a deal is imminent if Gores decides to pull the trigger.

Should the negotiations break down with Gores or should he decide to pass on purchasing the Pistons, a new name to consider based on the Free Press' report is Eric Lefkofsky, who was born in Detroit, grew up in Southfield and graduated from the University of Michigan. He is an entrepreneur and one of the backers of Groupon, and the Free Press said that a "whiff of interest" surfaced from him. This report may just be wishful thinking coming from the Pistons, though.

The Detroit News reports that the Pistons approached Lefkofsky about buying the team, not the other way around. What's more, according to the News' report, Lefkofsky is not interested in purchasing the team at this time. Per the News' source, the Pistons asked if he was interested in looking into the deal and that was it. "There are no legs, other than that," said the source.