Dr. Dre said … he’s “absolutely” interested in buying the L.A. Clippers when the NBA forces Donald Sterling to sell the team … and he seems very serious about it.  “I’m thinking about it … yes,” Dre told us on his way in to Boa Steakhouse in L.A. last night.

It’s not like he couldn’t afford it … Forbes just released its list of wealthiest hip hop moguls and Dre clocked in at #2, with a reported net worth of $550 million.

He’s not the only one who’s expressed interested … billionaire developer Rick Caruso says he’s also interested … same with Diddy and Rick Ross.