Report: Sale of Atlanta Hawks to be completed June 24

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Grant Hill, the owner, is very close to being in place.

Hill will be a minority owner, but one of the key faces of Antony Ressler’s group that is buying the team — and that sale will be completed on the day before the NBA Draft, reports Chris Vivlamore at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The sale of the Atlanta Hawks to a group led by billionaire Tony Ressler is scheduled to be completed on June 24, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An agreement to purchase the Hawks and Philips Arena from the group known as the Atlanta Spirit has been in place since April 22. The sales process was expected to take 4-6 weeks to complete and will be official with the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. The approval can be done by conference call or electronically and is scheduled for the day before the NBA Draft.

That sale reportedly is for $850 million, although more than $100 million of that is taking on debt.

The Hawks had the best season in franchise history — winning 60 games and making the conference Finals were both firsts for the organization — despite a fractus ownership group that had put the team up for sale. The Hawks current majority owners, known as Atlanta Spirit, purchased the Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena from Turner Broadcasting in 2004. There was infighting and rumors of sales for years.

Then when it was found one of the key members of the Spirit Bruce Levenson had sent out a racially insensitive email about how to cater the game more toward white fans, it pressured him and the group to sell the team.

The Hawks had a great season at the gate and with local television ratings this past season because they won and because they focused more on urban, younger, and often African-American crowd. The new owners can build off that — and the team’s new logos.