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Sacramento Kings are sold; next stop Seattle?

January 21, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • Three of the Maloof brothers: from left, Phil, George and Gavin.
Three of the Maloof brothers: from left, Phil, George and Gavin. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

The Maloof family has agreed to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen, the NBA confirmed in a statement Monday morning. The deal is still pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors.

Hansen's group will buy 65% of the franchise for $525 million and will probably move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name.

The Maloofs will get a $30-million non-refundable down payment by Feb. 1, according to the deal. They will be allowed to receive other offers until the league approves the sale.

According to the Associated Press, which spoke to a key person involved in the deal but not authorized to speak publicly, the plan is to move the team to Seattle. The deadline for teams to apply for a move for next season is March 1.

“While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family,” Hansen said in a statement. “Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades.”

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA All-Star point guard, said in a statement that the city remained undeterred despite the agreement with the Seattle group.

“Sacramento has proven that it is a strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons in a top 20 market and owning two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history,” Johnson said.

“When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win. In particular, we have been focused like a laser on identifying an ownership group that will both have the financial resources desired by the NBA and the vision to make the Kings the NBA equivalent of what the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL.”

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