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Report: Details of Kings sale to Seattle laid out for relocation committee

Jan 14, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT


While many people in Sacramento continue to work to put together a package that can help keep the Kings in in the California capital, the machinery of a sale of the team to a Seattle group planning to move the franchise north continue to move forward.

It’s reached the point that members of the NBA Board of Governor’s relocation committee were briefed on the “non-binding deal points” of a potential sale of the Kings to the Chris Hansen/Steve Ballmer group of Seattle, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

The call took place on (January 8) – 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….

It is unclear if the selling of 53 percent of the Maloof’s share would leave them with any future stake in the franchise, but sources have told Yahoo! Sports that there’s no circumstance where which the Maloofs would keep any real input or governance over day-to-day team operations.

The timeline here is really March 1 — that is when a new ownership group would have to apply for relocation (that could be pushed back a couple weeks, not much more). What everyone wants to avoid is another lame-duck year with the team in Sacramento owned by the Maloofs.

That this went so far as to be laid out for the relocation committee shows it is being taken seriously. The relocation committee — ironically headed by Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett, the guy that moved the former Sonics out of town — would delve into the details of a request to move the team and make a recommendation to the full Board of Governors (all the owners).

That said, the deal is not done. And complex deals like this one — the Kings owe $77 million to the city of Sacramento if the franchise moves plus at least $125 million to the league’s credit program — can easily fall apart over the details.

What is new here is the $525 million is how much the franchise is being valued at, but if the new owners only get a controlling interest of the team at 65 percent they would only have to pay less than $350 million. Which for a group led by Hansen (a hedge fund guy), Ballmer (the current head of Microsoft and worth $14.7 billion) and with supporting players like the Nordstrom family is no problem.

In Sacramento, mayor Kevin Johnson is working hard to put together a group and plan looking for the right to match any reasonable Seattle offer to keep the team — they are talking to people who could buy the team as well as plan for a new arena in town (which would be done now were it not for the Maloofs in the first place). Johnson wants to make his pitch to NBA ownership when they meet All-Star weekend in Houston.

While both sides push ahead, the Maloofs remain the wild card. Nobody knows what their next move might be. It would be easier to guess what Jodie Foster might say at before the Golden Globes than to guess what the Maloof family will do next.

  1. fanofevilempire - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I hope this works out or Seattle.

    • dls612 - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      Your comment is definitely like a game of tug of war! Can’t wait to see how it ends up!

      • saint1997 - Jan 15, 2013 at 6:10 AM

        at this point no’s are winning by 1

  2. flyeredup - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Maloof is a goof.

  3. sportsnut101 - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Just sell the team already to Seattle. Kings suck in sac town Losing money since cwebb n white chocolate left

    They have talent on team just maybe wrong coach

    Seattle a bigger market. No1 wants to buy the kings unless it’s for 250 mill nowhere near what they asking

    • saint1997 - Jan 15, 2013 at 6:11 AM

      you want a bigger market put 2 teams in Chicago

  4. bigmrcia - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Here’s a thought: If you want a vagabond franchise to stay put, cap the amount of times it can move. Is this not the third time it is relocating to an entirely new state?

    • fm31970 - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      More like the fourth.

      Franchise History:

      Rochester Royals 1948-57
      Cincinnati Royals 1957-72
      Kansas City-Omaha Kings 1972-75
      Kansas City Kings 1975-85
      Sacramento Kings 1985-

  5. themanchine - Jan 14, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    I hope they stay in Sactown with new ownership.
    Move the Raptors to Seattle, and New Orleans to the Eastern Conference.

    • saint1997 - Jan 15, 2013 at 6:12 AM

      maybe 2 teams in Chicago?

  6. MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    I’ll buy the Kings.I can make monthly payments right?Baseball let McCourt do it for the Dodgers,that worked out well right?

  7. jimbo75025 - Jan 14, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    I still say that the NBA’s concern about backlash over public funding if they allow the Kings to move to Seattle shows up. Anybody know the cities (other than Sacramento) where a real push is being made to build a new stadium with public funds?

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