Embattled Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver announced Wednesday that he will sell the team and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. The decision comes after Sarver received a one-year suspension and a $10 million fine by the league on Sept. 13 for violating workplace standards.

There had been calls for Sarver to relinquish his ownership after an investigation found he used the N-word at least five times in private conversations as well as engaged in inappropriate behavior toward employees.

"As a man of faith, I believe in atonement and the path to forgiveness," Sarver said in a statement.

"I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible -- that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past. For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury."

The Suns could sell for over $2 billion. Sarver reportedly owns about 35% of the team. Co-owner Jahm Najafi is the second-largest investor in the Suns.

Prior to the start of last season, Forbes estimated the Suns to have a valuation of $1.8 billion. Phoenix ranked 18th among the league's 30 teams, sandwiched in between the Milwaukee Bucks ($1.9 billion) and Utah Jazz ($1.75 billion).

Utah's valuation increased to $2.25 billion this summer, according to Forbes, when Arctos Sports Partners purchased a minority stake in the Jazz. Owner Ryan Smith bought 80% of the Jazz for a reported $1.66 billion in late 2020.

If Utah's valuation last season was short, the case could be the same for the Suns. A similar increase would give the Suns a valuation north of $2.3 billion.

The Brooklyn Nets were valued at approximately $2.35 billion when the team was sold along with Barclays Center for a combined $3.3 billion in 2019. Billionaire Tilman Fertita bought the Houston Rockets for a reported $2.2 billion five years ago.

The Suns are in the No. 11 media market in the U.S. and have been one of the best regular-season teams in the league over the past two seasons. Phoenix was eliminated in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. The Suns had the league's best record last season before being upset in the second round of the playoffs.

Phoenix is projected to have a payroll north of $165 million next season. All-Stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker are due to make $62 million in combined salary. Deandre Ayton signed a four-year, $132.9 million contract with the Suns in the summer.

When former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was forced out of the league in 2014, the team was later sold for $2 billion. Los Angeles is the No. 2 media market but the Clippers share the market and an arena with the Lakers.

Robert Sarver attends Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals
Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint Center on Oct. 13, 2021 in Phoenix Christian Petersen/Getty Images