The Maloof family reached an agreement over the weekend to sell the Kings to the Seattle investment group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, a deal confirmed yesterday by all involved parties. However, even with the agreement in place, the sale is far from finalized. Here are Tuesday's rumors related to Sacramento, Seattle, and the future of the Kings, with any new updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- Ron Burkle and Mark Mastrov, the "heavy hitters" among the five investors rumored to be interested in heading up a bid for the Kings, are considering teaming up, USA Today's Sam Amick reports.
- The NBA board of governors meeting, in which Sacramento's group is expected to make its formal pitch to keep the Kings in town, is scheduled for April 18th and 19th, tweets Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- Johnson has already added a 20th local investor willing to pledge $1MM to the group of 19 he unveiled today, reports Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).
- Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson confirmed last night that an announcement is coming this afternoon regarding efforts to put together a local ownership bid, tweets Bryan May of News10 in Sacramento.
- Sports-law expert Michael McCann tells the Sacramento Bee that he doesn't think the Kings' potential move to Seattle is a slam-dunk, but "the odds are highly in favor of the move."
- California politician Darrell Steinberg has sent a letter to the California Department of General Services outlining his concerns about Ballmer's involvement in the purchase and relocation of the Kings, as Sam Amick of USA Today details.
- While Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday that the Seattle group would target Spurs GM R.C. Buford to run the team's front office, a source tells Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News that Buford isn't going anywhere. TNT's David Aldridge also hears that Buford has no interest in leaving San Antonio (Twitter link).
The possibility of the Sacramento Kings moving to Seattle appears to have taken a big step forward, as news broke last night that the Maloofs have reached an agreement to sell the franchise to the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. According to various reports, the Seattle group will buy 65% of the franchise for about $340MM, with the total valuation of the team at $525MM. Sacramento and mayor Kevin Johnson will still receive an opportunity to present a counter-offer to the NBA Board of Governors, but it sounds as if it may be a long shot. Here are the latest details on the team's potential sale and move:
- Hansen and the Seattle Center are already working toward preparing the KeyArena for the fall, tweets Chris Daniels of KING 5 TV in Seattle.
- According to Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter), the Maloofs approached Larry Ellison about the $525MM price, but Ellison wasn't interested. Ellison was involved in the bidding when the Warriors were sold, and reportedly inquired about buying the Grizzlies as well.
- Hansen and the Maloof family have each released official statements
confirming the agreement between the two sides. Jason Jones of the
Sacramento Bee shares Hansen's statement and the Maloofs' statement via Sulia.
- The NBA confirmed this morning that it has received an "executed
purchase and sale agreement" for the transfer of the Kings' controlling
interest. The statement reads: "The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of
Governors and has been referred to the Board's committee process for
review" (link via Sam Amick of USA Today).
- The relocation committee has been briefed several times on the possible move to Seattle, and is fully behind it, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. An official announcement detailing the agreement is expected to happen this week.
- Wojnarowski also reports that the Seattle group is already targeting candidates to run the team's front office, including the Spurs' R.C. Buford and former Pacers president Larry Bird. With Hansen's group expected to overhaul the front office, current Kings president Geoff Petrie will likely retire at season's end, says Wojnarowski. Peter Vecsey also throws Phil Jackson into the mix as a possible candidate to run Seattle's basketball operations (Twitter link).
- While the Hansen/Ballmer group has agreed to buy just 65% of the franchise initially, the group would like to buy out the remaining 35% in the near future, reports TNT's David Aldridge on NBA.com. According to Aldridge, the final agreement was signed by the Maloofs and Hansen late Saturday night.
- Given the transition in ownership, the Kings aren't expected to be active at this season's trade deadline, but could make "major changes" in the summer, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
- In an Insider-only FAQ for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton rounds up the key details on the potential sale of the Kings.
- ESPN.com's latest 5-on-5 discussion focuses on the Maloofs' agreement with the Seattle group.