The Maloof family has reached an agreement to sell the Kings to a Seattle investment group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, but Sacramento isn't going down without a fight. Mayor Kevin Johnson is putting together a team of investors willing to make a counter-offer to buy the franchise and keep it in Sacramento. As we wait for the next major development in this ongoing story, let's round up some of the latest reports….
- Sacramento's "big-money investors" are doing due diligence on the Kings, but don't have access to detailed information on the Seattle bid against which they'd be competing, according to Dale Kasler, Tony Bijzak, and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. Johnson is expecting to finalize his lineup of potential investors next week, according to the Bee's report.
- David Flemmer, a bankruptcy trustee who oversees the 7% of the Kings owned by limited partner Bob Cook, says that Cook and other minority owners should have the "right of first refusal" to match the Seattle offer and buy the club, writes Kasler in a separate Sacramento Bee piece. "Bankruptcy is a tool; this tool can be effective," Flemmer said. "We are very, very, very concerned that there's a deal being cut that's going to (ignore) that right."
- If Johnson can put together a viable Sacramento-based bid for the Kings, it's not clear what would happen next, since a one-on-one showdown for a franchise would be unprecedented, writes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.