Kings/Seattle Rumors: Friday

January 11 2013 at 10:16pm CST By Luke Adams

Since Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported on Wednesday that the Maloof family was "finalizing an agreement" to sell the Kings to a Seattle-based investment group, plenty of reports have suggested it's premature to say that a deal is on the verge of completion. Still, talks definitely appear to be taking place. Here's the latest on the Kings and a potential move to Seattle:

  • Sam Amick of USA Today tweets that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson does not believe the city's window for keeping the Kings has closed.
  • Amick adds that Johnson is rounding up sources of money to put together an offer comparable to the one the Maloofs have on the table from the Seattle group.

Earlier updates:

  • Magic Johnson, who was part of Mark Mastrov's bid to buy the Warriors, won't be involved in Mastrov's play for the Kings, according to Scott-Howard Cooper of NBA.com (via Sulia).
  • Besides Mastrov, Sleep Train CEO Dale Carlsen may also be interesting in bidding on the Kings to help keep them in Sacramento, tweets Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee.
  • Mark Mastrov, who lost out to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber in the bidding for the Warriors, is interested in buying the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. "Definitely, there've been conversations," said Mastrov, the founder of 24-Hour Fitness. "Definitely there's interest in acquiring the team and keeping it in Sacramento."
  • Berger hears from sources that Mastrov has made the Maloofs a formal offer, though the CBSSports.com scribe notes that Mastrov, who has a net worth estimated at $350MM, likely wouldn't be able to match the Seattle group dollar for dollar.
  • Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has spent much of the last month attempting to identify potential buyers that would keep the Kings in Sacramento. According to Amick, the only publicly-known interested party is Ron Burkle, supermarket magnate and part-owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. A Sacramento-based is very unlikely to beat the Seattle group in a bidding war, says Amick.
  • The Kings aren't commenting on a report that suggests a sale to the Seattle group is a "done deal," according to the Sacramento Bee. The Bee report notes that Richard Benvenuti, a limited partner of the franchise, hasn't been informed of any sale — as we heard earlier this week, minority partners must be told before any agreement is finalized. It was Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com (via Sulia) that said the deal was "done" with a price tag of $525MM.
  • According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, the Maloofs still want to have a say in how the franchise is run, even if they sell it to Chris Hansen's Seattle group. Wojnarowski's initial report indicated that the Maloofs would likely retain a small percentage of the team in any sale, but Woj suggested it wouldn't be enough to allow them a say in how the club is run.
  • Condotta's source tells him that a sale decision would go beyond pure dollars and cents for the Maloofs, since being involved in the NBA has been very important to the family.
  • Ryan Lillis, Dale Kasler, and Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee hear from a source close to the Maloofs that talks between Kings ownership and the Seattle group are in the "early stages." A formal offer has not yet been made, though the Bee's sources expect that one is forthcoming.
  • Sacramento fans and players, including Aaron Brooks, Isaiah Thomas, and Jason Thompson weighed in on the possibility of the Kings leaving town in an Associated Press report (link via USA Today).
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