Which Houstonians could afford to buy the Rockets?

HOUSTONWith the news Monday that Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander is putting the team up for sale, we take a look at potential buyers based in the Houston area.

Both Tilman Fertitta and Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale told KPRC2 Monday that they are interested in purchasing the NBA team.

Earlier this year, Forbes estimated the Rockets' worth at $1.65 billion, the eighth-most valuable team in the league.

PHOTOS: Rockets owner Les Alexander through the years

There were 12 Houston-area residents listed on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans in 2016. Here they are:

  • No. 69 Richard Kinder (pipelines), $7 billion 
  • T-No. 94 Dannine Avara (pipelines), $5.2 billion
  • T-No. 94 Scott Duncan (pipelines), $5.2 billion
  • T-No. 94 Milane Frantz (pipelines), $5.2 billion
  • T-No. 94 Randa Williams (pipelines), $5.2 billion
  • No. 134 Jeffery Hildebrand (oil), $4.1 billion
  • No. 174 Dan Friedkin (Toyota dealerships), $3.6 billion
  • No. 184 Bob McNair (energy, Texans), $3.5 billion
  • No. 232 John Arnold (hedge funds), $2.9 billion
  • No. 246 Tilman Fertitta (restaurants, casinos), $2.7 billion
  • No. 290 George Bishop (oil & gas), $2.4 billion
  • No. 361 Leslie Alexander (Rockets), $1.9 billion

Obviously, there are other wealthy individuals around the Houston area who could form an ownership group to attempt to buy the team as well.

WATCH: Rockets announce team up for sale

Alexander said he is committed to finding a buyer who will keep the team in Houston, but there's no guarantee of that.

Fertitta told KPRC2's Randy McIlvoy, "I have known Leslie a long time. Yes, I would have interest in buying the Rockets. We'll see how it unfolds."

"It's been hard to buy a team outside of Houston. This is my home. I'm sure he'll (Alexander) get as much as he can. We'll see," Fertitta said.

READ: Timeline of Les Alexander's ownership

McIngvale told KPRC2 Monday afternoon that he is interested in putting a group together to buy the team.

"I was shocked when I heard the announcement. Les has done a great job with the Rockets over the years, so kudos to Les. I've had several people call me wanting to put a group together and try to buy the Rockets, so we're going to try to do that," McIngvale told KPRC2. "I have a long history with Houston sports and the Houston Rockets. It'd be fun to get involved and bring Clutch City back again."

"Last year, they did a great job. Great new coach. James Harden and the other guys, and the addition of Chris Paul, so things look great for the Rockets," he said. "Hopefully a new owner can come in and carry on the great tradition of the Houston Rockets."

The Texans released a statement saying Bob McNair "does not have interest in purchasing the Rockets. He'll be focusing on the Texans."

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