February 13, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Sonics fans stand between plays during the second quarter between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder at ORACLE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Maloofs Close to Selling Sacramento Kings to Seattle Ownership Group

According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, the Maloof brothers, owners of the Sacramento Kings, are planning to sell to a Seattle-based ownership group who would move the team before the start of next season.

The Maloof family is finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group that hopes to move the franchise to Seattle for the 2013-14 season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The deal will sell the Kings for approximately $500 million to a group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer. The group is seeking to relocate the franchise to Seattle’s KeyArena for the 2013-14 season.

The Seattle group’s plans, with support of the NBA, is to play two seasons in KeyArena before moving into a new Seattle arena, sources said.

No agreement has been signed, but one source with knowledge of the talks described the deal as “first and goal at the 1.”

The Sacramento Kings have been the Bucks’ best second-best buffer against relocation for the past few years. (Bucks owner Herb Kohl and his interest in keeping the team in Milwaukee claim the top spot.)  But the Kings moving to Seattle, instead of say, Virginia Beach, is a good move for the fans of Milwaukee.

It satisfies Seattle’s hunger for a team, as well as NBA Commissioner David Stern’s alleged desire to put a team back in Washington state, while leaving the Bucks in place.  While there are other places looking for an NBA team, none was as ready and organized as Seattle.

 

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