Kings/Seattle Rumors: Saturday

The fate of the Kings figures to be a hot topic between now and the March 1st deadline to file for relocation. We dedicated a post to all of yesterday's rumors on a potential Kings sale, and there's more where that came from today. Here's the latest.

  • Another set of local bidders has come forward with interest in buying the team, as Dale Kasler, Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee report. A group of investors, including the new owners of a troubled downtown Sacramento shopping center, say they want to purchase the team and build a $400MM arena on the site of the shopping center. The same architectural and engineering firm that designed the Barclays Center in Brooklyn has already drawn up plans for the arena, according to the Bee report.
  • Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reported that the Maloofs would like to retain some decision-making role if they sell the team, as we passed along yesterday, and Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game hears that the Kings owners are threatening to take a "sweetheart deal" to move the team to Anaheim if potential buyers won't give them the control they want (Sulia link). Bucher cautions that such a move could involve the Maloofs pursuing a messy antitrust suit if the Lakers try to prevent them from setting up shop in Southern California.
  • Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson thinks a Sacramento buyer would only have to pony up between $425MM and $450MM, as opposed to the rumored $500MM to $525MM asking price for the Seattle group. That's because there would be no relocation fee, and local ownership could assume a $77MM loan the city of Sacramento granted to the Maloofs, as Sam Amick of USA Today details.
  • Phil Jackson keeps saying he won't coach again, but his son Charlie is close friends with Chris Hansen, the investor at the forefront of Seattle's bid for the Kings, notes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Nonetheless, Jackson is ignoring questions about whether he would become a part of the team if Hansen's group bought it. "Some things are too premature to even talk about," Jackson said.
  • Answering a question about whether the Lakers would pursue Tyreke Evans, HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler said the Kings won't be taking on payroll during sale negotiations, which would limit their ability to swing a trade (Twitter link). Yesterday, Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors examined Evans' trade candidacy, surmising that it wouldn't be a surprise to see the fourth-year guard remain in Sacramento this season.

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