According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the NBA had a conference call with the relocation committee to discuss the Sacramento Kings sale to the Hansen-Ballmer group from Seattle. It seems that we’re getting closer and closer to finalizing the deal. Once that deal is done, it will pave the way for the team to move to Seattle.
The call took place on Tuesday – one day before Yahoo! Sports reported the finalizing of a deal – and informed several league owners that the Hansen-Ballmer Seattle group would purchase 65 percent of the Kings, sources said. The league office told members of the relocation committee that the non-binding agreement would constitute 53 percent of the franchise owned by the Maloof family and an additional 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich.
According to the article, the sale price of $525 million is considered a valuation of the franchise.
The relocation committee is headed by Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, who knows a thing or two about moving franchises.
Also mentioned was that it was unclear whether the Maloof family’s share would leave them with a stake in the franchise, but the Hansen-Ballmer group wants them completely out of the organization.
The Kings haven’t filed for relocation to Seattle but the Seattle group will do so once the sale is done. The deadline for relocation is on March 1st so they’re trying to hustle for the deal. If the team does get to play in Seattle in the 2013-14 season, they will play at the old KeyArena for their first two seasons while a new Seattle arena is completed during that time. And, yes, the team name would be changed back to the Sonics.
Speaking of the Sonics, the team was bought by Clay Bennett — earlier, we mentioned Bennett as the chairman of the relocation committee. He moved the Sonics to Oklahoma City in 2008, two years after he bought the Sonics for about $350 million.
There have been mentions about other potential buyers but it’s unlikely they would match the Hansen-Ballmer group’s bid of, at least, the rumored $500 million.