Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The sale of the Sacramento Kings franchise to a Seattle-based group is expected to be finalized by the end of January.
The sale of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group headed by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer is on course but still a long way from being finalized, according to multiple reports.
Dave Mahler of of Seattle Sportsradio 950 AM reports that sources indicate the deal is moving smoothly, but there is no imminent announcement to come. Assuming all goes as the two sides planned, the deal should be completed by the end of January.
Sam Amick of USA Today said that sources told him minority owners have not been told of a deal. According to their ownership agreement, terms of a sale must be relayed to them before anything is signed. That doesn't mean the wheels aren't beginning to spin toward a transaction, however.
The NBA issued a warning across the league, telling teams to withhold their comments regarding the Sacramento situation, according to Amick.
A report early on Wednesday cited anonymous sources who said the Maloof family expected to sell the team to the Seattle-based group for an estimated $500 million. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski initially reported that the Maloofs would remain minority owners, but they would relinquish their decision-making abilities for the franchise.
The city of Seattle has been working to acquire the ability to begin a new NBA franchise after it lost the Seattle Supersonics following the 2007-08 season.