Let me be honest here: How close to done the Kings sale to the Chris Hansen/Steve Ballmer Seattle group is depends on who you talk to. From some sources around the league it’s all over but the signatures. Out of Sacramento it is nowhere close and the Maloofs want a bidding war.
The latest report on the issue comes from Matt Steinmentz of CSNBayArea.com, via Sulia.
I’ve heard from reliable source that the Kings’ sale to Hansen-Ballmer in Seattle is done deal. Source said price of the sale is $525 million. The source said further that the Maloofs will have no stake or decision-making with Seattle team and are out.
On his radio show in the Bay Area Steinmetz said more, via CSNBayArea.com.
“Reports broke two days ago that this was very close with Seattle, but this is done.
“Signed and inked — they were talking to Seattle two days ago, Adrian Woj (Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and the NBC Sports Network) had a quote that it was at the one-yard line, which it was. At that point, my understanding is that the Maloofs did what about everybody does in that situation, they float that offer around for a day or two, see if they can get any other interest to drive up the price, which appears to have happened, as it’s up to $525M. So that’s possibly what happened.
Steinmetz is a very well connected reporter. He is not a guy prone to spreading crazy rumors. That should worry Sacramento fans. However, he is not a Seattle or Sacramento guy. Basically, take every report from anywhere you hear on this story with a grain of salt, until people are ready to put ink to paper.
If that number is accurate, it is $25 million more than the first offer, which to you and me is a lot of money but is just five percent of the sale price so it’s not that big a jump.
Would Joe and Gavin Maloof, who have a big emotional investment in being NBA owners, give up that stake for another five percent?
This is a big, complex deal with a lot of minority owners involved as well as the Maloof family owing $77 million to the city of Sacramento and another $125 million to the league from it’s credit line. That’s a lot of debt and how that is structured into the deal matters.
We’ll see when and if it gets done. My personal sense is it is getting closer, that it will likely get done before the March 1 deadline so they can file to relocate the team next season, but if the Maloofs pivoted at the last minute nobody would really be shocked.