Kings sale: Maloofs open to Sacramento deal if NBA rejects alternatives

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Maloofs have not completely dismissed selling the Kings to a Sacramento-based ownership group.

While the Maloof family has shown little willingness to sell the Kings to a Sacramento-based ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive, they are still keeping that option open, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The Maloofs have made it clear that they would prefer to sell to the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. After the NBA relocation committee recommended the Kings stay in Sacramento, the Seattle group increased their offer for the Kings to $406 million, a deal that includes a promise to pay a record-high $116 million relocation fee.

Since the NBA is likely to vote against the move, the Maloofs and the Seattle group cut an alternative deal over the weekend. The Seattle group would pay $125 million for 20 percent of the Kings, and the team would stay in Sacramento for at least one more season while the owners attempted to negotiate a new stadium deal.

While Hansen ultimately wants the Kings in Seattle, there would reportedly be a "good-faith effort" to keep the team in Sacramento if this alternative plan came to fruition. However, if a new arena deal in Sacramento fell through, the team would then likely seek NBA approval a second time to move to Seattle.

The Maloofs plan "to be loyal to Hansen to the bitter end," and they have said that they feel the Sacramento offer is not competitive with Hansen's. While the Seattle group has raised their offer, the Sacramento group has stood pat at $341 million. Even so, the Maloofs have not completely dismissed the Sacramento offer if the alternative plans are shot down.

This week marks a big one in the Kings saga, as the NBA Board of Governors will meet in Dallas on Wednesday to vote on the issue. Prior to that, the league has scheduled a conference call Monday for the relocation and finance/advisory committees to discuss the situation.

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