The Sacramento Kings are set to have new owners next year. Whether they stay in Sacramento or become the SuperSonics in Seattle will be settled in a matter of months.
After agreeing to sell the team to Chris Hansen’s Seattle-based ownership group, the Maloofs were supposed to receive a non-refundable $30 million by Feb. 1. A new report almost a month later says they never got the money at all.
Today, on Feb. 27, David Baumann Sports Talk Florida said that the group never paid the Maloofs because the sale hasn’t been approved by the NBA yet:
“It’s now Sacramento’s (team) to lose,” one NBA source close to the bidding process told David Baumann of Sports Talk Florida. “The Seattle investment group was supposed to deliver a non-refundable $30 million dollars to the Maloofs (by Feb. 1), but it never happened. The Seattle group wasn’t going to make that down payment without the NBA’s approval to move the team.”
Kings owner Joe Maloof told The Sacramento Bee’s Dale Kasler that the report isn’t true, meaning his family is $30 million richer:
Joe Maloof says it isn’t true – Hansen made the payment.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is putting together a counteroffer, likely with the help of supermarket mogul Ron Burkle and 24 Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov. Sacramento City Council voted to begin financing negotiations for a downtown arena on Feb. 26.
Kings minority owner John Kehriotis came out of the blue as a potential buyer. FOX40’s Jim Crandell said that Kehriotis’ group has $350 million committed and $400 million verbally committed for a possible total of $750 million.
The Kings are Maloofs’ share of the team is valued at $341 million and the team’s overall value is $525 million.
While the sale of the Kings is yet to be approved by the NBA Board of Governors, the Bee reports that the Maloofs would accept back-up offers like Kehriotis’, in case if the Seattle sale doesn’t go through:
Kehriotis told the Bee this week it’s too early to discuss his plans. A spokesman for the Maloofs also declined comment. But a person familiar with the situation said the Maloofs would accept “back-up offers” to the Hansen agreement.
Considering that the Kings faced relocation two years ago, Sacramento looks to be in a much better position than when the Seattle deal was reported early last month.
For now, the waiting game continues.
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