Kings sale: George Maloof says deal with Seattle is not close

Jared Wickerham

The Sacramento Kings sale that on Wednesday was reported to be in the final stages is not close to being done, team owner George Maloof said.

Sacramento Kings owner George Maloof told a local news station that an earlier report indicating the team was close to being sold was inaccurate. Nick Monacelli told Maloof the news report, and Maloof replied shortly.

On Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Maloofs were finalizing a deal to sell the team to a Seattle-based ownership group for $500 million. The group is led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer. The duo has worked to gain ownership of an NBA team after acquiring space in Seattle to build an arena complex.

The Sacramento Bee also cited sources indicating there's ongoing discussions in the deal, but they added that there is no "secret sale" of the team.

That doesn't mean a deal isn't being heavily worked upon, writes Kings blog Sactown Royalty.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player, told the paper yesterday that it was the first time the Maloofs have publicly shown the will to sell the team. He added that there were several local people who had shown interest in buying the Kings if they were ever notified of the franchise being for sale.

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