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Gearon, the son of former Hawks executive Michael Gearon Sr., grew up with the team and has said he would like to retain a minority share if the team was sold. The elder Gearon also is part of the ownership team.

The Hawks have made the playoffs the past four seasons, including three straight second-round appearances.

While the owners were criticized for failing to keep the Thrashers‘ stars, including Ilya Kovalchuk, in Atlanta, the group was aggressive in re-signing Hawks stars Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford.

“The perception is we don’t spend money,” Gearon Jr. said recently about the Hawks. “Yet you look at our roster and the core assets, we’ve kept all of them.”