A trial that could determine the fate of the Los Angeles Clippers has been put on hold until after a deadline to conclude a $2 billion US sale, but that expiration date could be extended.

A Los Angeles judge on Thursday said the case won't finish by Tuesday but will continue on July 21 because some lawyers for team owner Donald Sterling have personal plans.

Sterling is suing to block his wife's unilateral deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Shelly Sterling testified Thursday that she made the deal with her husband's consent, then he changed his mind.

Ballmer's deal is due to expire next Tuesday but his lawyer, Adam Streisand, says there's a provision to extend that another month as long as progress is being made in court.