HoopsHype Chris Hansen rumors

May 17, 2013 Updates
May 16, 2013 Updates
May 15, 2013 Updates

A full meeting of the league's 30 teams met here Wednesday for nearly four hours and, according to sources with knowledge of the vote, ultimately backed last month's recommendation from a relocation committee that advocated to reject the Kings' proposed sale to a Seattle group headlined by lead investor Chris Hansen and keep the team in Sacramento. Hansen's group raised the overall valuation of its offer to buy the Kings for a league-record $625 million last week. But sources told ESPN.com that the owners gathered at this specially convened board of governors meeting at the Hilton Anatole voted to reject the sale and proposed relocation of the Kings to Seattle. ESPN.com

May 14, 2013 Updates

George Maloof, one of the members of the family that owns the Sacramento Kings, said again today their desire is to sell the team to a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. Maloof is in Dallas in advance of the NBA Board of Governors meetings tomorrow, and in a brief interview as he walked through the lobby, reiterated the family’s long stance about selling the team to the Seattle group. “We have a binding agreement,” he said. “That’s our commitment, to Chris and Steve. We want to see it through.” Seattle Times

May 13, 2013 Updates

A memo obtained by NBA.com details a potential framework for legal action, citing the Sherman Act's prohibition against group boycotts. In this instance, the (unauthored) memo argues, the league would be vulnerable to a lawsuit by the Hansen group based on the Haywood case won by Spencer Haywood against the league in 1971. That case allowed Haywood to sign a contract to play in the NBA despite not having graduated from college, the existing rule at the time for eligibility. Haywood successfully argued that financial hardship necessitated him coming into the league immediately. NBA.com

The memo's author argues that Hansen could successfully sue the NBA because if owners vote to reject the sale of the team to him, they would be engaging in a similar group boycott that the Supreme Court ruled was illegal in the Haywood case. But all that may, literally, be an academic exercise. A source directly involved with Hansen's pursuit of the team reiterated Friday that Hansen is not looking at potential litigation as a means for getting the Kings. "It's not part of anything that our group is contemplating," the source said. NBA.com

A source familiar with the agreement, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of this week's NBA talks, said Hansen would strengthen the team's balance sheet as it enters into arena talks with the city of Sacramento. Even though Hansen has said his dream is to revive the Seattle SuperSonics, the Maloof-Hansen group would nonetheless make a good-faith effort to jointly finance an arena in Sacramento, the source insisted. Should a Sacramento arena deal fall through, sources said, the team likely would seek NBA approval a second time to move to Seattle. The deal would allow Hansen to purchase a controlling interest in the team – at a price that valued the entire team at $625 million – within the next two years, subject to NBA approval. Those details were laid out in a memo Friday from NBA executives to team owners, a source said. Sacramento Bee

May 12, 2013 Updates

The Hansen-Ballmer agreement to purchase 65 percent of the team from the Maloofs would now be based on a valuation of $550 million, an increase of $25 million. Now, Hansen has sweetened the pot again -- increasing the franchise valuation by another $75 million as part of a backup plan to buy 20 percent of the team from the Maloofs if owners formally reject relocation on Wednesday in Dallas. CBSSports.com

With Wednesday's Board of Governors vote on the fate of the Sacramento Kings looming, the Maloof family, which owns the team, is still trying to find a way to sell the team to a group led by Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen instead of a local group in Sacramento led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive. Their latest gambit would sell 20 percent of the team to Hansen's group for $120 million, which would leave the team in the Maloofs' control, according to a source. NBA.com

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