Kings sale: NBA reportedly asks Sacramento bid group to pay Seattle group

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has reportedly asked the group of Sacramento investors to pay the Seattle bidders for the Kings for a non-refundable deposit should they win the team.

Should a local group win the bid to buy the Sacramento Kings, the NBA is asking that it pay $30 million to a competing group of investors to cover an already-paid, non-refundable fee, sources told the Sports Business Journal. The Seattle group of investors hoping to buy the Kings has already paid the fee to the current owners, the Maloof family.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen led a group of Seattle-based investors who first agreed upon a sale of the team with the Maloofs, but a push by Sacramento to keep the team led to a tough decision for an NBA committee.

If the NBA decides the Sacramento group should be able to buy the team, the Seattle investors will lose their full $30 million deposit. The Sports Business Journal's source said the league would want to remain in the good grace's of the investment group. Certainly, it's a sign the league wants to consider Seattle as a future option to acquire an NBA franchise -- that is, if they don't win the bid for the Kings.

The Sacramento group of bidders will submit a final deal to win the franchise on Friday, and the league is expected to make a final decision at, or soon after, an NBA Board of Governor's meeting on April 18-19.

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