HoopsHype Joe Maloof rumors

January 21, 2013 Updates

Chris Hansen: 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. 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. SonicsArena.com

While Sacramento will get a final shot to convince NBA owners that this is not something they want to approve, sources have told ProBasketballTalk that Seattle’s Chris Hansen is ready to announce a tentative agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings in the coming days. Following this come reports other teams have been notified of a sale, something PBT can confirm. The sale price is $525 million of which the new owners will get 65 percent. NBCSports.com

The agreement to transfer the 65 percent majority stake in the Kings to the Seattle group represents the 53 percent owned by the Maloofs and an additional 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich. Sources said that there has not yet been an agreement submitted on the remaining 35 percent of the franchise, which is held by minority shareholders, not the Maloofs. ESPN.com

According to our sources, any deal sending the Kings to Seattle would not be a done deal because any deal would be subject to an approval by the NBA’s Board of Governors. In addition, sources tell PBT that Sacramento has been approached by at least three groups of “heavy hitters.” Sacramento could be getting close to announcing a group that meets NBA criteria that has the “vision to transform one of the NBA’s most proven markets into a top NBA franchise.” This, they believe, will help win the NBA’s support for keeping the Kings in Sacramento. NBCSports.com

The deal, according to sources familiar with the specifics, calls for the Maloofs to receive a non-refundable $30 million deposit from the Seattle group by Feb. 1. The NBA, furthermore, is fully expecting Hansen to apply for relocation to Seattle for the 2013-14 season by the league's March 1 deadline, enabling the league's board of governors to vote on the application at their annual April meeting. ESPN.com

The biggest point in Sacramento’s favor according to sources is the “model offer” of public funds itself, an offer that was in excess of $200 million in a California climate that normally doesn’t support public funds for sports facilities. Sources close to the situation tell PBT that this, along with the league’s fear of another Sonicsgate, will be the deciding factors should Sacramento be able to provide an actionable offer that is competitive with Seattle. NBCSports.com

January 20, 2013 Updates

Former NBA executive Andy Dolich said the owners will weigh Sacramento's past success and loyalty to the NBA against Seattle's ample wealth. The board of governors will insist on seeing revenue projections for the team in its proposed new home. "You have to be pretty specific," said Dolich, who was president of the Vancouver Grizzlies when they moved to Memphis in 2001. "The building, demographics of the marketplace, broadcasting." Dolich said NBA owners want the Kings located in whatever market enhances the overall prosperity of the league – and their own franchises. "The blood of this is green – it's money," he said. Sacramento Bee

Dolich said the NBA doesn't take relocation lightly – "stability is important." But the league is also wary of picking a fight with one of its owners, especially if it could spill into the courts. When the Maloofs went to the board of governors last year to explain why they were abandoning an arena project for downtown Sacramento, they brought with them a lawyer specializing in antitrust cases. Sacramento Bee

As for Seattle, the ownership group led by Chris Hansen has made an offer to the Maloofs, but NBA sources said the amount is short of the reported $525 million. According to Forbes Magazine, the Kings are the 23d most valuable NBA team at $300 million, so it’s highly unlikely the Hansen group would offer nearly twice that. Boston Globe

January 15, 2013 Updates

Officials with AEG, the entertainment company that had hoped last year to help partner on a downtown Sacramento arena, have told the Bee the are still interested in participating in a downtown Sacramento arena project to house the Sacramento Kings - whether the team is under current or new ownership. "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. Sacramento Bee

Hate to say it, but there is the other possibility in the Kings-Seattle-Sacramento saga: That the Maloofs do... nothing. They choose not to sell -- not to a group that would move the team to Seattle, not to a group that would keep the team in Sacramento -- and no one gets any resolution. I don't think that happens. It's the longest of the long shots. But almost every conversation with anyone connected to the saga includes some reference, usually impolite, of the Maloofs' history of unpredictability on the topic, and so sitting on their hands must be mentioned as an option. Sulia

January 14, 2013 Updates

The NBA held a conference call with members of the league's relocation committee to outline deal points on the proposed sale of majority ownership of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based ownership group, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The call detailed what NBA officials described as "a non-binding set of deal points" on a $525 million sale of majority ownership to the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group, sources said. Discussions have continued in the past week to push the purchase to toward completion and ultimately clear the way for the franchise to move to Seattle, sources told Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo! Sports

The call took place on Tuesday – one day before Yahoo! Sports reported the finalizing of a deal – and informed several league owners that the Hansen-Ballmer Seattle group would purchase 65 percent of the Kings, sources said. The league office told members of the relocation committee that the non-binding agreement would constitute 53 percent of the franchise owned by the Maloof family and an additional 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich. The sale price of $525 million is considered an overall valuation of the franchise. The committee is comprised of several NBA owners, including committee chair Clay Bennett of Oklahoma City. Yahoo! Sports

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