The owners of the Sacramento Kings (the Maloof family) have sold the team to an ownership group that will move the team to Seattle. The Kings will become the Sonics, the name of Seattle’s old team before the team relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder, and play in Seattle next year if the NBA approves the deal.
NBA commissioner David Stern said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson could “present a counteroffer to the league from buyers who would keep the team in Sacramento.” Johnson will have less than six weeks to do so.
That Seattle ownership group is led by Chris Hansen.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports “NBA teams were formally notified Sunday night of the deal, which still requires league approval”:
The executed purchase agreement to transfer the 65 percent majority stake in the Kings to Hansen’s group represents the shares owned by the Maloofs and one minority owner. 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.
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 expecting Hansen to apply for relocation to Seattle in time for the 2013-14 season by the league’s March 1 deadline.