Kings/Seattle Rumors: Tuesday

A pair of columns yesterday from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and TNT's David Aldridge featured plenty of details on the Chris Hansen/Steve Ballmer group's bid for the Kings. But the sale of the franchise to the Seattle investment group still appears to be far from a done deal. Here are Tuesday's updates on Sacramento, Seattle, and the Kings:

  • Ken Armstrong of the Seattle Times tracks the rise and fall of the Maloof family's ownership of the Kings, saying that should the team move north, Seattle would be the beneficiary of their downfall.
  • The goal of Sacramento-based investors hoping to buy the Kings is to force the NBA's hand, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. While virtually all the factors fall in favor of the Seattle group, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and local investors hope to come up with the sort of capital that would make it hard for David Stern and the NBA to turn them away.
  • According to Amick, John Kehriotis, who currently owns 12% of the Kings, has been in talks with one of the local groups organizing an offer for the franchise. Mark Mastrov is also involved in local efforts, though the interest of Ron Burkle has been overstated, says Amick.
  • Wojnarowski's report, which indicated that the Seattle group intended to buy 65% of the franchise, actually gave some hope to Sacramento groups, according to Amick. A 65% portion of $525MM would only be about $341MM, which is much lower than the $425-450MM that Johnson estimated he'd need to raise to make a local bid for the team.
  • Johnson said this morning that he has received approval from Stern to present an offer for the Kings directly to the league's Board of Governors, reports Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. A potential deal must include a new arena and local partners, according to Johnson, who says he wants this "to be the final act of a saga that's gone on for far too long."
  • AEG, the entertainment company that was involved in last year's bid for a new Sacramento arena, is still interested in a partnership, according to Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee. "We remain committed to the mayor and the city, and we would be more than happy to meet with a potential new owner," an AEG spokesman said.

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