First, here’s Aaron Bruski from Pro Basketball Talk of NBC Sports:
While Sacramento will get a final shot to convince NBA owners that this is not something they want to approve, sources have told ProBasketballTalk that Seattle’s Chris Hansen is ready to announce a tentative agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings in the coming days.
Here’s Marc Stein from ESPN as well:
The Maloof family owning the Sacramento Kings has reached a purchase agreement to sell 65 percent of the franchise to a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen for $525 million, according to league sources.
With the Maloofs involved, it may still be called off. But it’d be hard to turn down more than a half billion dollars for this. Also, since local buyers have a chance to get a shot at the Kings (Mayor Kevin Johnson had mentioned last week that there can be counteroffers for the Kings), this odyssey still isn’t over yet. But if local owners don’t get it and the sale goes to the Hansen/Ballmer group from Seattle, the team will very likely move to Seattle.
Among the local buyers include Mark Mastrov, who founded 24-Hour Fitness. Previously, L.A.-based supermarket mogul Ron Burkle had supposedly thrown his name into a hat. Since the sale hasn’t been officially announced yet, don’t be surprised if something happens at the 11th hour. If the sale is finalized to the Seattle group, they have until March 1st to file for relocation.
Seattle hasn’t had a team since Clay Bennett moved the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City before the 2008-09 season. That team is now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bennett bought the team for about $350 million. Also related, the Memphis Grizzlies were bought by Robert Pera for just over $375 million. If the Maloofs get over half a billion, let’s just say that’s way more than anybody thought the Maloofs would get.
We’ll have more as the story develops. I feel it’s still far from over, though, with the way Sacramento has been fighting.