Sacramento Group Close To Deal For Kings?

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson arrived back in his city today after attending yesterday's Board of Governors meetings in Dallas, and said the Sacramento investment group led by Vivek Ranadive is close to finalizing an agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Kings, according to Ryan Lillis, Dale Kasler, and Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee.

"It's going to be close to being signed in the next day or two," Johnson said. "I'll be surprised if we get past the weekend. I feel very confident about that."

George Maloof, who said earlier today that he believes a deal will be reached with the Sacramento group, confirmed that negotiations are "going on fine." Maloof suggested this morning that he wasn't sure whether an agreement would be reached within the 24-48 hour window David Stern was aiming for. However, Johnson's comments indicate that even if a deal isn't agreed upon within that window, it may happen shortly thereafter.

If an agreement is finalized, it's expected that Ranadive's group would pay about $200MM for the Maloofs' 65% stake in the franchise, according to the Bee report. The Sacramento group would also absorb various debts associated with the franchise, including the repayment of a $64MM loan the team owes the city of Sacramento.

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